India stands by Afghanistan, says PM Modi as earthquake claims at least 1,000 lives

The eastern Paktika province was the worst hit. Casualties and damage were also reported in nearby Khost and Nangahar provinces that border Pakistan.
Afghan children stand near a house that was destroyed in an earthquake in the Spera district of the southwestern part of Khost Province, Afghanistan.(AP)
Afghan children stand near a house that was destroyed in an earthquake in the Spera district of the southwestern part of Khost Province, Afghanistan.(AP)
Published on Jun 22, 2022 10:34 PM IST
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Written by Kanishka Singharia | Edited by Sohini Goswami

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday, expressed his condolences over the devastating earthquake in Afghanistan and said India stands by the neighbouring nation and is ready to provide all assistance at the earliest.

"Deeply saddened at the news of the devastating earthquake in Afghanistan today. My deepest condolences on loss of precious lives. India stands by the people of Afghanistan in their difficult times and is ready to provide all possible disaster relief material at the earliest”, Modi wrote in a tweet.

Afghanistan ambassador to India Farid Mamundzay appreciated the support extended by India. "Appreciate the solidarity and support of India at this difficult time. Humanitarian situation in Afghanistan was already going from worse to worst - and with the occurrence of natural disasters like the recent earthquake make life unbearable for many Afghans," Mamundzay tweeted.

A powerful earthquake struck a remote border region of Afghanistan early on Wednesday killing at least 1,000 people and injuring nearly 1,500 people, officials said, with the toll expected to rise as desperate rescuers dig through collapsed dwellings.

According to reports, an unknown number of people still remained stuck under the debris, while landslides and rainfall complicated the rescue operations. “Although search and rescue efforts are ongoing, heavy rain and wind is hampering efforts with helicopters reportedly unable to land this afternoon”, a spokesman for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs told Reuters.

The eastern Paktika province was the worst hit. Casualties and damage were also reported in nearby Khost and Nangahar provinces that border Pakistan. The quake was the worst calamity to hit the nation since a landslide in 2014 killed 2,000 people in the northeastern Badakhshan province.

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Thursday, June 30, 2022