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Afghanistan earthquake Death toll exceeds 2,400

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The death toll in the devastating earthquake that struck Afghanistan has surpassed the grim milestone of 2,400 as rescue efforts are still on to save people trapped under the rubble. 

In a press conference on Sunday (8), Janan Sayeeq, spokesman for the Ministry of Disaster, said in a message that the toll had risen to 2,445, but he revised down the number of injured to “more than 2,000”. Earlier, he had said that 9,240 people had been injured. He further said that “many are still trapped” as a 6.3 magnitude earthquake destroyed more than 1,300 houses and “completely perished” several villages.

About six villages have been destroyed and hundreds of civilians have been buried under the debris, as the Taliban called for urgent help.

Ten rescue teams were in the area which borders Iran, Sayeeq added.

Saturday’s tremblor was recorded about 40km from the western city of Herat. Many buildings were damaged, trapping people under rubble as the region witnessed at least three powerful aftershocks.

The head of the Taliban political office in Qatar Suhail Shaheen has said that Afghanistan needs food, drinking water, medicine, clothes and tents urgently for rescue and relief. At least a dozen teams have been scrambled to help with rescue efforts, including from the military and non-profit organisations like the Red Crescent. The United Nations migration agency said it has deployed four ambulances with doctors and psychosocial support counsellors to the regional hospital.

At least three mobile health teams are on their way to the Zenda Jan district, which is one of the worst affected areas. The World Health Organization unit in Afghanistan said it dispatched 12 ambulances to Zendeh Jan to shift wounded people to hospitals. (WION)

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