Afghan rescuers dig by hand for quake survivors | Daily News

Afghan rescuers dig by hand for quake survivors

AFGHANISTAN: At least 1,000 people were killed and more than 1,500 injured after a 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck a rural, mountainous region flattening stone and mud-brick homes in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday.

Sardar ahmed Shakib, the Taliban's Ambassador in Islamabad in Pakistan, told Sky News: "The current situation is more critical than ever before, and we expect more from the international community."

He added: "This is a human rights crisis and those who criticise the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan are human rights violators themselves."

The majority of the fatalities have been in the province of Paktika, where the district of Gayan, close to the epicentre of the 6.1 magnitude quake, suffered significant damage to buildings. As rescue teams and villagers resumed the search for survivors by digging through rubble with their hands on Thursday, Mohammad Amin Huzaifa, Head of the Information and Culture Department in Paktika, said: "People are digging grave after grave." Families were seen lifting pieces of timber of collapsed roofs and removing the stones and rubble by hand, looking for missing loved ones. There was little sign of heavy equipment — only one bulldozer was spotted being transported. Ambulances circulated, but little other help to the living was evident.

Trucks of food and other necessities arrived from Pakistan, and planes full of humanitarian aid landed from Iran and Qatar, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid wrote on Twitter. Pakistan also opened several nearby border crossings to allow those affected by the disaster to cross. - SKY NEWS

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