Latest news on Afghan earthquake.
Northeastern Afghanistan was struck on Monday (26th Oct) by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake, which also affected parts of both Pakistan and northern India. The epicentre occurred near the town of Faisabad in the Afghan province of Badakhshan which borders Pakistan, Tajikistan and China.
Affected areas have reported significant devastation with numbers still rising as news comes in from more remote locations. As of 30th October reports indicate over 18,000 houses have been destroyed or damaged (4864 in Afghanistan, 13,770 in Pakistan), more than 350 people killed (Afghanistan: 84, Pakistan: 268), and over 2,200 people injured (Afghanistan: 396, Pakistan: 1,844). National and international agencies have been able to provide emergency food and blankets to some of the affected people, and in Pakistan the government has been able to establish a number of relief camps and distribution sites to provide aid to those who have lost their homes and possessions. However, the aid effort has been more difficult in Afghanistan where insecurity and landslides have delayed and limited access to all affected areas.
Many of the homes in the affected regions are made of mud and stone and hence have been significantly damaged, leaving thousands racing to rebuild shelter before the winter fully sets in. Temperatures in the affected areas around the Hindu Kush mountain region can reach below freezing (0⁰C) in the winter months and some areas will become increasingly difficult to access as snow begins to fall in mid-November. Local leaders say that many people are unable to afford to rebuild their homes and there are significant concerns regarding the effects on people, especially children, who have been forced to sleep outside in sub-zero temperatures. Emergency shelter and winterisation have been prioritised as concerns which need to be addressed quickly, along with the immediate needs for food and medical assistance.
- For people who those who have lost loved ones – for God to bring them comfort and strength in this difficult time and over the coming days.
- For families whose homes have been damaged or destroyed. Pray that God will enable them to find shelter and the resources and support to cope in the next few months and begin to rebuild and recover as quickly as possible.
- That those responding with humanitarian aid to the affected communities will continue to be able to respond effectively, despite the significant security challenges of the region.
- Thank God for the swift response on the part of national authorities and relief agencies who have been able to provide life saving supported to many of those in desperate need in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake.
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