Earthquake in Afghanistan and Pakistan: damage assessment underway
Already present in the field, Handicap International’s teams are ready to launch an emergency response after a violent earthquake hit Afghanistan and Pakistan at 10am today, Monday 26 October. According to initial estimates made within hours of the disaster, dozens of people have been killed and hundreds injured around the epicentre, which is located in a mountainous area separating the two countries.
Pakistan: A child injured in the earthquake | © Ahmad Sidique / XINHUA
This morning Afghanistan and Pakistan were struck by a violent 7.5-magnitude earthquake with its epicentre in the region of Badakhshan, a mountainous area of the Hindu Kush, 170 km from the Afghan capital, Kabul. The earthquake was also felt in India.
This isolated region, which has been hit by deadly earthquakes in the past, is difficult to access, and reports of casualties and material damage are changing by the hour. An estimated 931,807 people live within a 100-kilometre radius of the disaster.
Handicap International has been present in Afghanistan since 1987 and Pakistan since 1985. The organisation has extensive experience of aiding earthquake victims and provided emergency response in Nepal in April 2015, Haiti in 2010 and Pakistan in 2008. The impact of the earthquake is currently being assessed and Handicap International’s team are ready to launch an emergency response.