More than 360 people are reported dead, mostly in Pakistan, after the magnitude 7.5 earthquake hit north-eastern Afghanistan on Monday. At least 2,000 people were injured, with casualty figures expected to rise as rescuers begin to reach more remote areas.
According to ACT Alliance members and partners, earthquake-affected communities are in dire need of food support, winter kits, emergency health assistance and non-food items. Many have lost their homes, in addition to personal belongings and food stocks, as freezing temperatures affect the northern parts of both countries. Many areas are still inaccessible due to landslides, road damage and disrupted communication networks.
ACT Alliance Global Humanitarian Coordinator, Reshma Adatia, reinforces the struggle of reaching the hardest hit areas. “Many villages even in regular circumstances are one or two hours from proper roads. Accessing those communities in order to assess the needs and provide humanitarian assistance will be a major challenge.”
According to the US Geological Service, the earthquake was 196 kilometers deep, with the epicenter 82 kilometers southeast of Fayazabad, Afghanistan, in the district of Jurm, in the Hindu Kush mountain range.
“The worst affected areas are in remote areas of the Hindu Kush range and the full extent of the damage and causalities is difficult to estimate accurately at such an early stage,” says Anoop Sukumaran, ACT Alliance Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific. “Some of the affected areas are also affected by ongoing insecurity and conflict, both of which exacerbate the impact of the quake.”
Notes to editor:
Anoop Sukumaran, Regional Representative, ACT Alliance
Phone: +66 (0)2 214 6077