Iran stands by friendly Afghan nation as quake leaves 1000 dead

June 22, 2022 - 21:41

TEHRAN — A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 on the Richter scale hit the southeastern Afghan province of Paktika in the early hours of Wednesday.

According to authorities, the quake killed more than 1000 people and wounded at least 1,500. 

The shocks hit at 1:24 a.m. local time on Wednesday (4:54 p.m. ET on Tuesday). 

The disaster comes at a difficult time as Afghans are in the throes of hunger and economic crises following the takeover of the conflict-hit country by the Taliban last summer.

The tremor happened around 44 kilometers (27 miles) from the city of Khost, which lies close to the country's border with Pakistan, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The quake registered at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), according to USGS, CNN reported.

According to the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC), roughly 119 million people in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India felt the shaking over a 500-kilometer radius. 

Media in Pakistan claimed a mild-intensity earthquake shook Islamabad and other parts of the nation.

"Rescue operations are likely to be hindered because many international humanitarian organizations departed Afghanistan after the Taliban took over the country last year," according to The Associated Press. 

The Taliban government's deputy spokesman, Bilal Karimi, requested "all assistance groups to send teams to the area promptly to prevent more calamity."

Following the devastating earthquake, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh extended the government and people of Iran's heartfelt regret and grief to Afghanistan, a friendly and brotherly nation.

The spokesman prayed for God's mercy on those who died in the awful natural disaster and conveyed condolences to the grieving families and wished recovery for the injured.

Khatibzadeh further stated that Iran is ready to provide whatever support is required to the earthquake victims.

Hassan Kazemi Qomi, the special aide to the Iranian president on Afghanistan, also said Iran stands by its friend in this upsetting time.

“The sad news of the earthquake in the eastern provinces of Afghanistan and the death and injury of hundreds of people caused grief and sorrow. I ask God for forgiveness for the lost and patience for the survivors. The Islamic Republic of Iran, as always, stands by the people of Afghanistan and is ready to help the injured,” he wrote on his Twitter page. 

Meanwhile, the Iranian embassy in Kabul also expressed condolences, announcing that two Iranian planes containing emergency aid have landed in Kabul.

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