The death toll has approached 2,000 from the magnitude-6 earthquake that struck the provinces of Pakitika and Khost on the border of Pakistan in eastern Afghanistan. Hundreds of people trapped under the rubble are waiting to be reached. The International Blue Crescent Foundation (IBC) teams have started their needs determination in the earthquake zone. Abdurrahman Ruzi, one of our colleagues in the region, tried to convey the extent of the disaster as saying, “it is impossible to describe it in words.”
Screams rising from the decimated wreckage; only the foundation poles or beams have survived. There are those who ask for help, those who are trying to pull their relatives out from under the destroyed debris, or those who are trying to collect what is left of their homes..
In stark contrast, just two days ago, children were playing in the courtyards of their homes at the site of these ruins, mothers doing household chores, but now girls are trying to get over the shock of the terrible catastrophe they are experiencing.
On the morning of June 23rd, at 01.15, a magnitude-6 earthquake in Paktika province and Khos, located on the border with Pakistan in eastern Afghanistan, and has claimed close to 2,000 lives so far. There are so many wounded, official numbers are unknown. The International Blue Crescent Foundation Afghanistan emergency assistance team has started its needs assessments in the region where the IBC field team was deployed immediately after the earthquake.
IBC Field Team Member Abdurrahman Ruzi was one of the first humanitarian aid colleagues to reach the region. Ruzi expresses that the dimensions of the disaster cannot be described in words in the face of the great destruction and loss of life in the villages.
The IBC emergency assistance team, which is conducting investigations and meeting with earthquake victims in the village of Hucgay in the rural district of Giyani, Ruzi Paktika province, is identifying the needs in the earthquake zone. Abdurrahman Ruzi reports the wreckage of a destroyed house in the village, emphasizing that 7 people were killed in the house where 15 people lived, most of them children, and stresses that the extent of the destruction is inexplicable. There are still dozens of residential centers inaccessible in the earthquake zone where there are hundreds of villages spread over an extremely mountainous and large area. This information is obtained from the area where it is feared that the death toll of many people trapped under the rubble will be much higher.
IBC with the support of donor agencies in the region are providing tents, blankets, emergency food, clean water and hygiene supplies to the region and to deliver relief supplies on the move. The logistics team in the capital of Kabul continues its work on the preparation of materials. Initially, it is planned to deliver emergency supplies to 2,000 families.