Disaster management officials reported that a 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck Afghanistan early on Wednesday. More than 600 people were also injured, and when news from isolated mountain villages trickles in, the death toll is anticipated to rise.
The earthquake on Wednesday was the strongest since 2002. The US Geological Survey (USGC) said that it struck roughly 44 km (27 miles) from the southeast Afghan city of Khost, close to the Pakistani border.
The province of Paktika in the east of the landlocked nation was the worst-hit, with reports of substantial damage coming from Giyan, Nakai, Bermal, and Zerak. The region around Seprai in the province of Khost was hardest hit by the early-morning tremors.
Hibatullah Akhundzada, the supreme leader of the Taliban, expressed sorrow over the deaths and ordered all responsible officials and organizations to act quickly to provide aid to the afflicted families.
Images posted on Afghan media showed houses in ruins and victims laying on the ground covered in blankets. According to Salahuddin Ayubi, a spokesman with the interior ministry, helicopters were used in the rescue effort to provide food and medical supplies to the injured.
The Taliban"s top leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada, expressed regret over the fatalities and commanded all accountable officials and organisations to move immediately to help the affected families.
Pictures shared on Afghan news showed destroyed homes and casualties sprawled out on the ground under blankets. Helicopters were employed in the rescue mission to deliver food and medical supplies to the injured, according to Salahuddin Ayubi, a spokesman for the interior ministry.
A citizen of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, said on the EMSC website, "Strong and long jolts."
It was powerful, according to a Peshawar, Pakistani city resident.
The majority of fatalities were in the region of Paktika, where 100 people were killed and 250 injured, according to Mohammad Nassim Haqqani, the chairman of the Taliban president"s natural disaster ministry.
PM Shehbaz expresses sympathy
The Afghan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed sorrow over the deaths and destruction brought on by the earthquake in Afghanistan, specifically in Paktika, and he prayed for the souls of the deceased and their families.
In a statement, the premier stated, "We stand with our Afghan brothers and sisters in this time of need."
Deeply grieved to learn about earthquake in Afghanistan, resulting in loss of innocent lives. People in Pakistan share the grief & sorrow of their Afghan brethren. Relevant authorities working to support Afghanistan in this time of need.— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) June 22, 2022
Arif Alvi, the president, too expressed sorrow for the deaths in Afghanistan. In this moment of need, he assured, "Pakistan stands in support and solidarity of Afghanistan."
I am saddened over loss of precious lives by earthquake in Afghanistan & express my sympathies with the affectees. I pray for the deceased, the injured & offer condolences to bereaved families. Pakistan stands in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan in this hour of need.— The President of Pakistan (@PresOfPakistan) June 22, 2022
In 2015, an earthquake rocked the distant Afghan northeast, killing over hundred people in Afghanistan and neighbouring northern Pakistan. More than 20 people died in an earthquake that rocked western Afghanistan in January.