Afghanistan reels from deadly earthquake as crisis-hit country struggles for aid

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(CNN)Desperate hunt and rescue operations were underway successful eastbound Afghanistan connected Thursday pursuing an earthquake that killed much than 1,000 people, a dense stroke for a state already facing a dire economical and humanitarian crisis.

The magnitude 5.9 quake struck during the aboriginal hours of Wednesday adjacent the metropolis of Khost by the Pakistan border. At slightest 1,500 radical person been reported injured -- but officials pass the toll is apt to emergence arsenic galore families were sleeping successful flimsy lodging structures erstwhile the quake hit.

Children adjacent   their destroyed location  successful  the Spera territory  of Afghanistan's Khost state  connected  June 22.

Many homes successful the country are made of mud, wood and different materials susceptible to upwind harm -- and the quake coincided with dense monsoon rains, adding to the information of collapse.

    Photos from adjacent Paktika province, a agrarian and mountainous portion wherever astir of the deaths person been reported, amusement houses reduced to rubble. About 2,000 homes are thought to person been destroyed, according to the United Nations. Some radical spent the nighttime sleeping successful makeshift outdoor shelters, arsenic rescuers scoured for survivors by flashlight.

      Afghan villagers beryllium   extracurricular  a structure   aft  their location   was damaged successful  an earthquake successful  Spera, Khost province, connected  June 22.

      Medics and exigency unit from astir the state are converging connected the site, with assistance from immoderate planetary agencies specified arsenic the World Health Organization.

      However, assistance whitethorn beryllium constricted arsenic galore organizations pulled retired of the aid-dependent state aft the Taliban seized powerfulness past August.

      The Taliban authorities has deployed exigency resources, including respective helicopters and dozens of ambulances, and has offered compensation to victims' families.

        It has besides called for overseas aid, pleading for "the generous enactment of each countries, planetary organizations, individuals and foundations" connected Wednesday.

        Limited planetary aid

        The quake has compounded the problems already plaguing Afghanistan.

        Though the economical situation has loomed for years, the effect of struggle and drought, it plunged to caller depths aft the Taliban takeover, which prompted the United States and its allies to frost astir $7 cardinal of the country's overseas reserves and chopped disconnected planetary funding.

        The determination has crippled the Afghan system and sent galore of its 20 cardinal radical into a terrible hunger crisis. Millions of Afghans are retired of work, authorities employees haven't been paid, and the terms of nutrient has soared, with reports of immoderate families truthful hopeless to devour they person resorted to selling their children.

        Few assistance agencies remain, and those that bash are stretched thin. On Wednesday, the WHO said it had mobilized "all of the resources" from astir the country, with teams connected the crushed providing medicine and exigency support. But, arsenic 1 WHO authoritative enactment it, "The resources are overstretched here, not conscionable for this region."

        Afghan Red Crescent Society volunteers successful  Giyan district, Paktika province, Afghanistan, connected  June 22.

        Experts and officials accidental the astir pressing contiguous needs see aesculapian attraction and proscription for the injured, structure and supplies for the displaced, nutrient and water, and clothing.

        The UN has distributed aesculapian supplies and sent mobile wellness teams to Afghanistan -- but warned that it does not person hunt and rescue capabilities, and that determination neighbors person small capableness to measurement in.

        The US nary longer has a beingness successful Afghanistan pursuing the afloat withdrawal of its troops and illness of the erstwhile US-backed Afghan government. Like astir each different nations, it does not person authoritative relations with the Taliban government.

        Turkey is the state astir capable to supply assistance, said Ramiz Alakbarov, UN Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan. He said the Turkish Embassy successful Afghanistan was "waiting for the ceremonial request."

        Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday that the Turkish Red Crescent, which operates successful Afghanistan, had sent humanitarian assistance for the victims. On Thursday, a Taliban spokesperson said humanitarian assistance had besides arrived from Qatar, Iran, and Pakistan, with flights and trucks carrying items including medicine, tents and tarpaulins.

        More than 1,000 radical   killed aft  magnitude 5.9 earthquake hits eastbound   Afghanistan

        An estimated $15 cardinal of assistance is needed to respond to the disaster, Alakbarov said -- a fig that volition apt support rising arsenic accusation trickles successful astir the concern connected the ground.

        "Our teams bash not person circumstantial instrumentality to instrumentality radical from nether the rubble," Alakbarov said. "This has to trust mostly connected the efforts of the de facto authorities, which besides person definite limitations successful that respect ... I don't person the elaborate reports of however good positioned they are to run and deploy specified machinery to these mountainous areas."

        Information including harm assessments is constricted for now, with telecommunications disrupted successful distant areas and mediocre upwind conditions hampering transportation, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

          "The state is reeling from the effects of decades of conflict, protracted terrible drought, the effects of different aggravated climate-related disasters, utmost economical hardship, a battered wellness system, and system-wide gaps," said the IFRC connected Wednesday, calling for much planetary support.

          "Hence, adjacent though the catastrophe is localized, the standard of humanitarian needs volition beryllium massive."

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