Deadliest Earthquake in 20 Years Kills at Least 1,000 in Afghanistan

The death toll from the 6.1 magnitude quake, which struck about 100 miles south of Kabul, is expected to rise, with hundreds of people also injured.
Dipo Faloyin
London, GB
Afghans evacuate wounded after an earthquake in the province of Paktika​.
Afghans evacuate wounded after an earthquake in the province of Paktika. Photo: Bakhtar News Agency via AP

More than 1,000 people in southeast Afghanistan are reported dead after a 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck the region in the early hours of Wednesday morning. 

Around 600 have also been reported injured. The numbers of dead and injured are expected to rise as local authorities and emergency services are able to reach more remote mountain villages. 

The epicentre of the earthquake hit just south of the capital Kabul, near the town of Khost, and 255 people have been reported dead in Paktika province. 

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Helicopters are being used to reach remote areas and evacuate the injured to nearby hospitals. 

Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada has confirmed the widespread damage, saying in a press conference that hundreds of houses have been destroyed by the quake. He has called on international aid agencies to provide assistance.  

The aftermath of an earthquake in Afghanistan.

The aftermath of an earthquake in Afghanistan. Photo: Bakhtar News Agency via AP

Afghanistan has suffered a major economic crisis since the Taliban swept to power nearly one year ago. Many countries imposed sanctions against the country’s banking system after the Islamists ousted the Western-backed government, and cut billions of dollars of development aid. 

This is the country’s deadliest earthquake in two decades. In 2002, at least 1,000 people were killed when a 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck northern Afghanistan.