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Afghanistan hit with aftershock, adding to significant earthquake death toll

Afghanistan hit with aftershock, adding to significant earthquake death toll

An aftershock shook a hard-hit area of eastern Afghanistan on Friday, two days after a quake rattled the region, razing hundreds of mud-brick homes and killing 1,150 people, according to state media.

Pakistan’s Meteorological Department reported a 4.2 magnitude quake in southeastern Afghanistan that state-run Bakhtar News Agency reported took five more lives in hard-hit Gayan District and injured 11 people.

The country of 38 million people was already in the midst of a spiralling economic crisis that had plunged millions deep into poverty with over a million children at risk of severe malnutrition.

The magnitude 6 quake on Wednesday that struck in the night as people were sleeping left thousands without shelter and brought into sharp focus the compounding needs of the country. Afghanistan remains cut off from the international monetary system, and aid groups lament having to pay local staff with bags of cash delivered by hand as nations refuse to deal directly with the Taliban.

Aid organizations like the local Red Crescent and World Food Program have stepped in to assist the most vulnerable families with food and other emergency needs like tents and sleeping mats in Paktika province, the epicentre of the earthquake, and neighbouring Khost province.

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Still, residents appeared to be largely on their own to deal with the aftermath as their new Taliban-led government and the international aid community struggle to bring in help. The shoddy mountain roads leading to the affected areas were made worse by damage and rain. Villagers have been burying their dead and digging through the rubble by hand in search of survivors.

Death toll discrepancy

The Taliban director of the Bakhtar agency said Friday the death toll had risen to 1,150 people from previous reports of 1,000 killed….

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