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Several Dead in Afghanistan Earthquake

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SEVERAL people were killed in an earthquake that struck eastern Afghanistan early Monday, said officials.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) recorded a magnitude 5.3 earthquake near the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad.

The provincial disaster management chief, Ihsanullah Khan, told EFE that the quake killed at least six people in Kunar province. The tremor also shook Nangarhar, Laghman, Kabul, and other eastern provinces.

“The quake killed six persons and wounded nine others in Norgal and Sawaki districts of Kunar province,” Khan said.  The official said the quake damaged 40-50 houses.

Official Bakhthar news agency quoted Kunar governor’s spokesperson Mawlavi Najibullah Hanif as saying that at least eight people died in the earthquake. “(The) earthquake has caused financial and human losses in Kunar province,” Hanif told the news agency.

The spokesperson feared that the number of casualties “may increase as (the) toll was not clear.” Afghans are already struggling to overcome the suffering and devastation caused by decades of war, severe drought, floods, and extreme economic hardships.

The country is still reeling under the devastation caused by the magnitude 5.9 earthquake that struck eastern Afghanistan on June 22, killing nearly 1,000 and wounding 1,500 more.

The defacto Taliban government has been seeking help from international humanitarian organizations since they stormed to power in Afghanistan more than a year ago.

The problem of international humanitarian assistance was already a crucial and hotly contested topic due to international sanctions in Afghanistan, which is beset by an economic and social catastrophe with escalating levels of poverty and starvation.

The Taliban have struggled to provide for the country’s everyday necessities with their limited resources.

The situation becomes much more dire when the nation must handle major calamities like the most recent earthquake.

The country frequently experiences earthquakes, particularly in the Hindu Kush region, a hub of powerful seismic activities.

Powerful tremors devastated the country in February 1998 when quakes measuring 5.9 and 6 killed more than 4,000 people in northern Afghanistan.

In May that year, a 7-magnitude quake struck the same area and caused around 5,000 deaths.

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