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Afghanistan seeks emergency medical supplies for earthquake survivors

KABUL — Afghanistan does not have enough medical supplies to treat those injured in an earthquake that killed 1,000 people, a senior official said on Friday, as authorities ended a search for survivors in the remote mountains of the southeast.

About 2,000 people were injured and 10,000 homes were partially or completely destroyed in Wednesday morning’s earthquake, Mohammad Nassim Haqqani, spokesman for the disaster ministry, told Reuters.

“The Ministry of Health does not have enough medicine, we need medical aid and other basic necessities because it is a big disaster,” he said.

The 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck about 100 miles southeast of Kabul near the Pakistani border, in a region of arid mountains dotted with small settlements that has often been contested during decades of war in Afghanistan .

Homes and entire buildings were completely destroyed after the massive earthquake ripped through the country, leaving debris and rubble in its wake.

Poor communications and a lack of proper roads have hampered relief efforts in a country grappling with a humanitarian crisis that deteriorated sharply after the Taliban seized power last August when US-led international forces have withdrawn.

The disaster is a major test for hardline Islamists, who have been largely isolated; shunned by many because of human rights concerns, and cut off from much direct international aid because of sanctions.

Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates all said on Thursday they planned to send aid. Supplies from Pakistan have already crossed the border.

India, which has strained relations with the Taliban, said it sent 27 tonnes of supplies on two flights to hand over to international aid agencies.

Afghanistan seeks emergency medical supplies for earthquake survivors
It is the second major earthquake to hit Afghanistan in the past decade, worsening an already serious humanitarian crisis after years of war.

Haqqani said the search for survivors was called off, some 48 hours after the disaster.

“The search operation is complete,” he said.

He did not specify why. People have been pulled alive from the rubble of other earthquakes after much longer.

Large parts of Southeast Asia are seismically active because a tectonic plate known as the Indian Plate is pushing north into the Eurasian Plate.

In 2015, an earthquake hit remote northeast Afghanistan, killing several hundred people in Afghanistan and neighboring northern Pakistan.

New York Post

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