Sunday, August 7, 2022

Death toll in Afghanistan earthquake rises to 155

GAYAN, Afghanistan ( Associated Press) – The number of children killed in last week’s devastating earthquake in southeastern Afghanistan has risen to at least 155, according to the United Nations, as the extent of the deadliest quake to hit the poor country became known. decade.

The UN humanitarian organization OCHA said on Sunday that 250 other children were injured in a magnitude 6 earthquake that shook mountain villages in Paktika and Khost provinces near the country’s border with Pakistan. The earthquake caused houses to collapse and landslides. Most of the children who died were in the hard-hit Gaya district of Paktika, which became a picture of the ruin of the days after the earthquake.

Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers put the total death toll from the quake at 1,150, in which hundreds were injured, while the United Nations put a slightly lower estimate of 770 dead, though the international agency said the figure could rise.

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The UN humanitarian agency said the quake also left some 65 orphaned or unaccompanied children.

The disaster – the latest in Afghanistan after decades of war, famine, poverty and economic collapse – has become a test of the Taliban’s ability to govern and the international community’s willingness to help.

When the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, as the United States and its NATO allies withdrew their forces last August, international aid was cut off almost overnight. World governments, refusing to recognize the Taliban government and demanding that they allow a more inclusive regime and respect human rights, imposed sanctions on Afghan foreign exchange reserves, crippled bank transfers and amassed billions of dollars .

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The former rebels have resisted pressure and imposed restrictions on the freedoms of women and girls, reminiscent of their first term in power in the late 1990s, drawing retaliation from the West.

Aware of its borders, the Taliban have called for international help. The United Nations and several humanitarian agencies trying to stop the famine in Afghanistan have swung into action. Aid caravans are arriving in remote provinces, despite limitations on access and funding.

The United Nations Children’s Agency said on Monday it was working to reunite children left behind by the earthquake. It has also established clinics that provide mental health treatment and psychological support to singing children suffering from disaster.

Nation World News Desk
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