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Earthquake death toll climbs to 115

The deadliest quake has left 538 injured, 7,630 houses destroyed. Quake-affected families seek aid.

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: Death toll in the Monday earthquake increased to 115. As many as 538 people were injured and 7,630 houses were damaged.

The deputy spokesman for Presidential Palace, Zafar Hashimi, said on Tuesday that 115 people lost their lives in the yesterday powerful earthquake and 538 people were injured. At least 7,630 homes, 12 schools, 17 mosques and 20 office buildings were damaged in nine provinces of the country.

Ministry of Education (MoE) said that 16 students were killed and 87 others were wounded in the earthquake.

Spokesman to the Takhar governor, Sanullah Timori, said the provincial management has recorded 14 deaths. Around 50 people were injured. Thirteen people were killed and 36 injured in one school, he said.

The spokesman said that aid has not reached to the province from Kabul, adding that they are utilizing the relief items provided by the provincial department of the disaster management authority earlier. He said that some charity organizations were also providing humanitarian aid to the affected people.

Governor of Badakhshan, Shah Waliullah, said that 15 people killed and 43 wounded in his province. Over 2,744 houses damaged in Badakhshan. The provincial disaster management authority in collaboration with the Red Crescent and the Red Cross is assessing the damages and ready to help people, the governor said.

He said that each team of disaster management authority is comprised of 5-10 persons. He said that roads to 13 districts are closed; therefore, the aid was delivered by helicopters.

The provincial Council chief of Nangarhar, Zabihullah Zmarai, said that eight people killed and 76 wounded in Nangarhar province.

He said that the provincial disaster management authority and welfare organizations in the province started distribution of the relief goods but is not enough.

Police Chief of Kunar, Abdul Habib Syedkhil, said that 42 people killed and 76 wounded in Kunar province. Nearly, 2,093 houses destroyed in the province.

In Nursitan province, six people lost their lives and 25 others wounded. Over 280 houses were destroyed in the province. In Laghman province, six people were killed and 25 wounded.

Casualties in Baghlan, Kabul and Parwan provinces remain the same. In Kabul 50 persons were injured, in Baghlan eight people and in Parwan three people were killed and three injured.

Deputy Spokesman to the Chief Executive Officer, Jawid Faisal, said that a committee has been established and the teams are ready to help the affected people.

He said that first aid has been provided to the needy people in affected areas and distribution of the relief goods started.

The deputy spokesman said that friendly countries have contacted the Afghan government and pledged to help the earthquake-affected Afghans.

The Taliban also said that it would support the humanitarian groups and teams to help the earthquake victims.

In a statement issued here, the Taliban’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that the group asked its fighters to help and facilitate the charity foundations to assist the victims.

The militant group urged the welfare organizations and philanthropists to come forward and help the affected people as much as possible.

A powerful earthquake, 7.7 in magnitude, struck Afghanistan on Monday, destroying several houses in different provinces. It is fear that casualties likely to increase because some provincial officials had not provided data.

The earthquake rocked Afghanistan at 1:38 p.m. According to the US Geological Survey, the epicenter of the earthquake was said to be Juram district of Badakhshan province at a depth of 213.5 km. The earthquake was able to be felt in the nearby countries of Tajikistan, Pakistan and India. The earthquake lasted for one minute.

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