Fri, 01 Jul 2022

New York [US], June 22 (ANI): UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday expressed grief over the tragic loss of life in the earthquake that hit Afghanistan earlier in the day.

"Hundreds of people have reportedly been killed and injured, and this tragic toll might continue to rise," the UN chief said in a statement.

"My heart goes out to the people of Afghanistan who are already reeling from the impact of years of conflict, economic hardship and hunger. I convey my deep condolences to the families of the victims and wish a speedy recovery to the injured," he said.

The United Nations in Afghanistan is fully mobilized, and UN teams are already on the ground assessing the needs and providing initial support, he said. "We count on the international community to help support the hundreds of families hit by this latest disaster. Now is the time for solidarity," Guterres said.

An earthquake struck eastern Afghanistan early Wednesday, and the death toll has surpassed 1,000, with more than 1,500 people injured, news reports said. The most affected areas are in Spera District in Khost Province, and Barmala, Ziruk, Naka and Gayan districts in Paktika Province.

The latest data provided by the Paktika province paints a grim picture of people affected by the 6.1 magnitude earthquake. US humanitarian partners are already delivering medical care and shelter supplies on the ground.

India has expressed condolences to all those impacted by the earthquake amid Afghanistan's struggle to cope with a severe economic crisis since the Taliban took over last year.

"India expresses sympathy and condolences to the victims and their families, and to all those impacted by the tragic earthquake in Afghanistan. We share the grief of the people of Afghanistan and remain committed to providing assistance and support in this hour of need," said External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said India stands by the people of Afghanistan in the wake of the devastating earthquake in Afghanistan which claimed more than 1000 lives on Wednesday.

"Deeply saddened at the news of the devastating earthquake in Afghanistan today. My deepest condolences on loss of precious lives. India stands by the people of Afghanistan in their difficult times and is ready to provide all possible disaster relief material at the earliest," PM Modi tweeted.

US President Joe Biden directed his government to assess possible response options to provide aid for those impacted by the recent earthquake in Afghanistan.

"President Biden is monitoring developments and has directed USAID [US Agency for International Development] and other federal government partners to assess U.S. response options to help those most affected," National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Wednesday. (ANI)

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