Taliban declares ‘end of earthquake search’… 10,000 houses were destroyed (total 2 steps)

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“There is no one under the rubble” claim… Concentrate on treating the wounded in a lack of capacity

Local state news agency “The death toll rises to 1,150″… 5 more killed in aftershock

Rescue work carried out on the 23rd at a house damaged by the earthquake in Paktika, Afghanistan.

[AFP 연합뉴스 자료사진. 재판매 및 DB 금지]

(New Delhi = Yonhap News) Correspondent Kim Young-hyun = Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban announced on the 22nd (local time) that rescue operations related to the earthquake had ended.

Mohammad Nassim Haqqani, a spokeswoman for the Taliban government’s Ministry of Disaster Management, told Reuters on the 24th that authorities had ended the search for survivors of the earthquake.

He did not disclose the reason for the end of the search.

Mohammad Ismail Muawiyah, spokesman for the Taliban’s supreme military commander, said earlier in the afternoon that “rescue operations are complete” and that “no one is trapped under the rubble” in the earthquake-affected region of Paktika province.

However, the fact that the rescue operation was completed on the very day after the earthquake occurred in a situation where the damage was very large is a curious point.

In particular, it is analyzed that the declaration of completion of the rescue operation by the Taliban is too early, considering that the traffic conditions in the affected area are very poor, making it difficult for rescue teams to access and searching for survivors by searching for survivors with bare hands due to lack of equipment.

Officials who participated in the Nepal earthquake relief operation in 2015 told Reuters that it was surprising that the rescue operation could be completed so quickly, “if most of the destroyed homes are small in scale.”

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The Taliban’s decision is interpreted as an expression of its will to focus on treating survivors rather than searching for wreckage, as it lacks disaster response capabilities.

In this regard, Isabelle Musar Carlson, director of the Afghan division of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), told The New York Times, “Local authorities have told international organizations that search and rescue operations are 90% complete, and aid organizations are also focusing on providing shelters and caring for survivors. there,” he said.

Regarding the damage situation, Hakani reconfirmed that “about 10,000 houses were partially damaged or spread,” and that the death toll from the earthquake was more than 1,000.

About 2,000 people were injured, including those in serious condition, he said.

“They are in need of medical aid and other supplies,” he added.

Afghanistan’s Tolonews reported the day before, citing a Taliban government official, that “the death toll in Paktika and Host provinces has risen to 1,100, and the number of injured has risen to 1,600.”

“The death toll has risen from 1,000 to 1,150,” the Taliban director of the state-run Bakhtar news agency said.

Five more people were killed in an aftershock near the epicenter this morning, Taliban authorities said.

According to the European Mediterranean Seismology Center (EMSC), a magnitude 4.3 earthquake occurred 55 km southwest of Host at 6:13 a.m. on the same day.

The epicenter of the 5.9 magnitude earthquake on the 22nd was 36 km southwest of Host.

Taliban helicopters deliver aid to the Afghan earthquake-affected area.
Taliban helicopters deliver aid to the Afghan earthquake-affected area.

[로이터 연합뉴스 자료사진. 재판매 및 DB 금지]

The earthquake occurred in the middle of the night, and the residents who were sleeping were unprotected and suffered damage.

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In particular, since most of the local houses were poorly built mud houses, they collapsed like sand castles in the impact of the earthquake, and residents were crushed by rubble.

A house collapsed in neighboring Pakistan, killing one person.

After the news of the earthquake was announced, several international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Food Program (WFP), as well as several countries such as Pakistan, India, Korea, Iran and Turkey, have delivered relief goods and humanitarian aid.

However, the Taliban government does not have enough administrative power to deal with large-scale disasters, and the local activities of international organizations have been greatly reduced due to Western sanctions, and it is known that there are considerable difficulties in relief work.

The United Nations (UN) warned that there is a possibility of a cholera outbreak in the affected area.

In response, Abdul Kahar Balki, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Taliban government, expressed gratitude for the promise of support from the international community, including the Red Cross, but appealed for support from the international community, saying, “The aid must be expanded on a very large scale.”

Afghanistan, which has been in a civil war for decades, has fallen into a serious economic crisis since the Taliban took power in August last year.

An Indian Air Force plane carrying aid arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan.
An Indian Air Force plane carrying aid arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan.

[AP 연합뉴스 자료사진. 재판매 및 DB 금지]

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