ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has offered support for the earthquake-hit neighbouring country with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif asking relevant authorities to support Afghanistan in time of need.
The prime minister in a message from his Twitter handle said that he was deeply grieved to learn about the earthquake in Afghanistan, resulting in loss of innocent lives. “People in Pakistan share the grief and sorrow of their Afghan brethren,” he said.
In addition, former minister Imran Khan directed his KP government to facilitate medical facilities for the affected people in the neighbouring country.
“My condolences and prayers go to the government and people of Afghanistan for the loss of lives suffered in the earthquake,” he said and added that he had asked the KP government to especially facilitate the provision of all medical assistance.
Following Imran Khan’s directives, KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has directed the chief secretary and health minister to send medical teams and aid to the quake-hit areas of the country.
“We stand by the people of Afghanistan in testing times and will offer support and resources to deal with the situation,” he said.
Earthquake kills at least 950 in Afghanistan
According to a Reuters report, an earthquake of magnitude 6.1 killed 950 people in Afghanistan early on Wednesday, disaster management officials said, with more than 600 injured and the toll expected to grow as information trickles in from remote mountain villages.
Photographs on Afghan media showed houses reduced to rubble, with bodies swathed in blankets lying on the ground.
Helicopters were deployed in the rescue effort to reach the injured and fly in medical supplies and food, said an interior ministry official, Salahuddin Ayubi.
“The death toll is likely to rise as some of the villages are in remote areas in the mountains and it will take some time to collect details.”
Wednesday’s quake was the deadliest since 2002. It struck about 44 km (27 miles) from the southeastern city of Khost, near the border with Pakistan, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGC) said.
Most of the confirmed deaths were in the eastern province of Paktika, where 255 people were killed and more than 200 injured, Ayubi added. In the province of Khost, 25 were dead and 90 had been taken to hospital.
Haibatullah Akhundzada, the supreme leader of the ruling Taliban, offered his condolences in a statement.
Mounting a rescue operation could prove a major test for the Taliban, who took over the country in August and have been cut off from much international assistance because of sanctions.
Shaking was felt by about 119 million people in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India, the EMSC said on Twitter, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties in Pakistan.