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Pakistan Expresses Sorrow Over Deadly Earthquake in Afghanistan

Pakistan has expressed its deep sorrow and grief over the devastating earthquake that hit western Afghanistan on Saturday, killing more than 2,000 people and injuring hundreds more.

The Foreign Office of Pakistan issued a statement on Sunday, saying that Pakistan stands in solidarity with the Afghan people and government in this hour of distress.

“Pakistan conveys its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and prays for the speedy recovery of the injured,” the statement said.

The Foreign Office also said that Pakistan is ready to provide any humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan to cope with the aftermath of the earthquake.

Earthquake triggers landslides

The earthquake, which had a magnitude of 6.3, struck 40 kilometers west of Herat city, the third-largest city in Afghanistan, around 11 a.m. local time on Saturday. It was followed by several strong aftershocks that were felt in neighboring provinces of Badghis and Farah.

The earthquake triggered landslides and damaged hundreds of houses in rural areas of Herat province, especially in Zindajan district, where most of the casualties occurred. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 465 houses were reported destroyed and another 135 were damaged.

The earthquake also disrupted communication and electricity networks in some areas, making it difficult for rescue workers to reach the affected people.

UN launches relief efforts

The UN and its humanitarian partners have launched relief efforts in coordination with the de facto authorities, including the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA), to provide emergency assistance to the affected people.

According to OCHA, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) will provide emergency shelter support to 700 families, including 640 tents, blankets, and other items.

The World Food Programme (WFP) will distribute high-energy biscuits for 710 affected households across several villages in Zindajan district. The World Health Organization (WHO) has deployed three trauma kits sufficient to treat 150 surgeries and is supporting regional hospitals with medical and trauma care.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has deployed an emergency response team to Zindajan on Sunday and will provide water, sanitation, hygiene, nutrition, education, and child protection services. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) will provide 1,300 dignity kits for women and girls.

UN appeals for more aid 

The UN has also appealed for more funding and support from the international community to help Afghanistan cope with the humanitarian crisis caused by the earthquake and the ongoing conflict. According to OCHA, more than 18 million people in Afghanistan need humanitarian assistance, including 5.5 million internally displaced persons.

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