According to Afghanistan’s Disaster Management Authority, a devastatingly powerful earthquake that struck rural areas of southeast Afghanistan has left at least 280 people dead and 600 people injured.
Bakhtar News Agency, the state-run media reported that the earthquake that struck the Naki, Zirok, Barmal, and Gayan districts of Paktika province on Tuesday night resulted in 280 fatalities and over 600 injuries.
According to Salahuddin Ayubi, an official of the Taliban’s Interior Ministry, the majority of the fatalities were reported in the eastern province of Afghanistan, Paktika, where 255 people had been killed.
Approximately 44 kilometers to the southeast of the province of Khost, the quake occurred sometime after 1:30 local time, according to reports released by seismologists.
Bakhtar News Agency reports that helicopters have been transporting the injured to hospitals in remote areas.
According to a Taliban official, Bilal Karimi, the Deputy Spokesperson for the Taliban, who tweeted on Wednesday, “Unfortunately, a powerful earthquake struck four districts of Paktika province last night, killing hundreds of people, injuring hundreds more, and destroying dozens of homes.”
Given that several of the villages are in remote mountainous areas the death toll may increase.
Mohammad Nassim Haqqani, the Minister for Natural Disasters under the Taliban government, had earlier stated that investigations were being performed to see if there were any increase in the casualties.
The quake jolts Afghanistan’s certain provinces at a time when the meteorologists at the Afghanistan Meteorology Department warned that torrential rains may cause flash floods and gust wind in some of the provinces across Afghanistan.