Rescuers search for survivors after deadly earthquake in Afghanistan

Rescuers searched Tuesday for survivors of an earthquake in remote western Afghanistan that left at least 26 dead and damaged hundreds of homes, authorities said.

The 5.3-magnitude earthquake rattled Badghis province, toppling houses, especially in Qadis district, a rural area that is difficult to access by road.

“The earthquake caused massive damage to houses, between 700 and 1,000 were damaged,” Badghis provincial spokesman Baz Mohammad Sarwary said in a video message.

“There is a possibility that the number of victims will increase,” he added.

Images circulating on social networks show residents, including children, searching for belongings and essential goods among the rubble of collapsed houses.

Taliban government spokesman Inamullah Samangani said rescuers were helping search for survivors and transporting the wounded to local hospitals.

Some of the victims died from the collapse of the roofs of their houses, according to authorities.

The earthquake also affected the inhabitants of the Muqr district, but no details of the damage were provided.

The telluric movement had its epicenter near the city of Qala i Naw, capital of Badghis, less than 100 km from the border with Turkmenistan, according to the United States Geological Survey.

Afghanistan is going through a serious humanitarian crisis that has worsened after the Taliban came to power in August last year, as Western countries decided to freeze aid.

According to the UN, the country needs 5 billion dollars this year to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.

bur-jd / ecl / qan / mas / zm

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