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Earthquake casualties increase in Nuristan, Kunar

Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi-KABUL: Casualties in the Monday earthquake increased in Nuristan and Kunar provinces. At least 38 people were killed and 131 injured in the two provinces that were close to the epicenter.

Chief of the Nuristan provincial council, Saadullah Nuristani, told Afghanistan Times via telephone that Wama district of the province suffered much due to nearness to the epicenter. Epicenter of the earthquake was Juram district of Badakhshan.

He said that 80 percent people in the district suffered from the tremors. Seven people were killed and 25 others injured in Nuristan. Livestock sector was also damaged.

Responding to a question he said that the hospital was operation and the doctors were on duty, but the dwellers complained about lack of medicines. He said that the affected people have not received aid and many were forced to live under the open sky in the cold weather.

Abdullah, an earthquake affectee from Wama district, told Afghanistan Times via telephone that his house has been destroyed completely in the earthquake and he was living in a tent with his 20-member family.

He said that they had not received relief package.

Minister of Disaster Management Affairs, Muhammad Wais Barmak, told the Wolesi Jirga that 31 persons were killed and 106 injured in 15 districts of Kunar province. Around 1,645 houses, three mosques and a school were also destroyed.

He said that injured people in Takhar, Badakhshan and some other provinces were shifted to hospitals.

The minister said that each family will receive Afs50,000. Aid was sent to Takhar, Badakhshan and Nangarhar. Aid to Nuristan and Kunar will be sent after assessment and opening of the roads.

The Afghan government will receive the aid for the affected people from Turkmenistan, Turkey, the UK, China and India. Around 120 metric tons of flour will arrive from Turkmenistan. Clothes, flour, tents and food stuffs are the major relief items that will arrive soon, he said, adding that those who don’t have tents and lost homes would receive money from the government to rent house.

In an interview with Afghanistan Times, Salih Muhammad Salih, a member of the Wolesi Jirga or Lower House of the parliament from Kunar, confirmed that three mosques and 1,645 houses were destroyed.

He said that 19 people were injured only in one house. The lawmaker said that the affected people were desperately waiting for relief packages but the central government has been slow in providing the aid.

Salih said that the provincial governor has provided Afs10,000 to each family affected from his own budget.

Some aid and assessment teams were dispatched to different areas, except Kunar and Nuristan as the roads are blocked due to landslides.

Meanwhile, the governor of Kunar province Waheedullah Kaleemzai told Radio Azadi that 48 people were killed and 105 injured in his province.

According to him 75 people killed and around 200 houses were destroyed in Nuristan province.

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