- A violent earthquake hit the Afghan-Pakistan border region on Tuesday evening.
- The ruling Taliban authorities said at least 920 people were killed and at least 600 wounded.
A spokesman for the ruling Taliban movement also spoke of dozens of destroyed houses in four affected areas of the province bordering Pakistan. Local media reported that one village was completely destroyed.
The rescue work became more difficult due to the access to the remote mountainous area. The hardline Islamist Taliban movement, which has once again ruled Afghanistan since August 2021, has called an emergency cabinet meeting. Several helicopters were sent to the disaster area to help local residents. A government spokesman called on aid organizations to provide support. Red Crescent volunteers are already on site.
The US Seismological Survey (USGS) reported a 5.9-magnitude quake shortly before 11 p.m. Tuesday (local time) with slightly weaker aftershocks. Accordingly, the epicenter of the earthquake was about 50 kilometers southwest of the city of Khost near the border with Pakistan at a depth of about ten kilometers. The Pakistani authorities recorded the earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1.
According to Pakistani information, the earthquake was felt in large parts of the neighboring country – including the capital Islamabad and even in Lahore in the east of the country.
Panic broke out in some places, but according to preliminary information, nothing was known about the damage or casualties in Pakistan. Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has expressed his displeasure online and promised to help people in the neighboring country.
Pope prays for the victims
Pope Francis prayed for the victims of the devastating earthquake. “I express my closeness to the wounded and those affected by the earthquake,” the head of the Catholic Church said Wednesday at the end of the general audience for believers and visitors in St. Peter’s Square in Rome. The 85-year-old said he prayed especially for those who lost their lives and for their families.
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