AFGHANISTAN Earthquake, Emergency: wounded continue to arrive

A week after the earthquake, hundreds of people are still seeking assistance. The tremors continue and those who still have a house abandon it. The Taliban do not admit the massacre of civilians in the north of the country, where clashes have taken place in recent days.

Kabul () – A week after the earthquake that shook the southeastern provinces of the country, there are still hundreds of people who need medical and health care. The tremors continue and most of the people who still have a house have decided to abandon it for fear of it collapsing. Since the earthquake, “around 150 injured people a day present themselves at the first aid clinic set up by Emergency” and patients continue to arrive.

Giovanni Tozzi, logistics coordinator of the NGO founded by Gino Strada, tells : “The most affected province is Paktika, 260 km from Kabul. The earthquake was felt in a radius of 500 km and destroyed dozens of villages.

Taliban authorities reported more than 1,000 dead and more than 1,500 wounded. The United Nations reported that among the victims there are at least 155 children, while about 700 families live in the open because they were left homeless. Of these, 400 are in the Barmal district, the closest place to the epicenter that the NGOs and international agencies that are providing aid can reach.

“Immediately after the earthquake we participated in a round table with the Ministry of Health, UN agencies and local NGOs. We have set up a primary care center and have made our ambulances available to take the most seriously ill patients to our hospital in Kabul, where a special ward has been set up,” explains Tozzi.

The closest first aid center to Barmal is “a three-hour drive away,” explains Tozzi. “The villages affected by the earthquake are hanging on the slopes of the mountains and can only be reached on foot.” The weather conditions of the days immediately after the catastrophe did not help either: “It was raining and mud was forming, when it was already difficult to advance through the rubble.”

The UN has called for an emergency fund of 110 million dollars, but the country’s problems – even without considering the recent earthquake drama – remain the same since the US forces withdrew and the Taliban recaptured Kabul: inflation is clouds and liquidity is very low, large sums of money cannot be withdrawn either, 23 million people are hungry and the rights of women and minorities were eliminated overnight.

Despite all the difficulties, Afghanistan remains important for Emergency: “It risks becoming another forgotten crisis – says Tozzi – but we want to continue working here, even to keep the spotlight of public opinion on”.

The Taliban yesterday denied targeting civilians in the Balkhab district of the northern province of Sar-e-Pol, calling an Amnesty International report documenting extrajudicial killings in northern Afghanistan “baseless.” The United Nations expressed concern about the clashes as the Taliban put down a rebellion led by Mehdi Mujahid, a former Hazara spy who has run afoul of the central government.

Richard Bennett, UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, in a tweet described as “disturbing” the news about executions, displacement of civilians and destruction of property. “Unfortunately verification is hampered by information blackout, internet outages and denied access to the press,” Bennett added.

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Written by Editor TLN

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