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Friday July 19, 2024

Pakistan to extend 'all possible support' for Afghan earthquake victims: FO

Govt in contact with Afghan authorities for first-hand assessment of urgent needs of affectees

By Web Desk
October 08, 2023
Afghan residents clear debris from a damaged house after earthquake in Sarbuland village of Zendeh Jan district of Herat province on October 7,2023. — AFP
Afghan residents clear debris from a damaged house after earthquake in Sarbuland village of Zendeh Jan district of Herat province on October 7,2023. — AFP

The Foreign Office Sunday said it will extend all possible support to the recovery efforts in the wake of the powerful earthquakes in the western regions of Afghanistan a day earlier.

The FO, in a statement on Sunday, said it was in contact with Afghan authorities for a first-hand assessment of the urgent needs of those affected by the earthquake.

"Pakistan stands in complete solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan during this difficult time," the statement read.

The FO also expressed sadness over the loss of lives and damage after a powerful earthquake struck the western regions of Afghanistan a day earlier.

"The Government and people of Pakistan are deeply saddened by the devastating earthquake in Western regions of Afghanistan yesterday, resulting in tragic loss of life and widespread damage to property," the FO said in a statement.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry also extended its sincerest condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones, praying for the early and complete recovery of those who were injured in the wake of the natural calamity.

Death toll to climb

As many as 2,053 people have been killed as a result of violent earthquakes that struck Afghanistan late Saturday while 9,240 people have been injured, a government spokesperson confirmed to Reuters today.

The death toll from the earthquakes, which was previously reported to be 120, is expected to rise as rescue operations are still underway in the affected areas.

"Unfortunately, the casualties are practically very high," deputy government spokesman Bilal Karimi said early Sunday, as the extent of the damage became clear.

Additionally, 1,328 houses were flattened after eight powerful aftershocks from the magnitude 6.3 earthquake shook the region 30 kilometres northwest of Herat and terrified city people to flee into the streets.

According to Mosa Ashari, Herat disaster management head, late Saturday there had been "about 120" fatalities reported and "more than 1,000 injured women, children, and old citizens".

A spokesman for the National Disaster Authority said they expect the death toll "to rise very high".