The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Township should be built for earthquake-affected families, expert

After American occupation ended in the country, the people of Afghanistan, once again faced another human tragedy, in two southern provinces of Paktika and Khost.
More than 1,500 people were martyred and thousands others wounded in the unprecedented natural disaster.
Hundreds of houses collapsed in the 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck a remote district at around 1:24 p.m. in Paktika province, some 29 miles southwest of Khost.
“From some houses, only one child, a woman or an over-aged man survived the deadly earthquake,” one of the country’s known political expert Abdul Haq Hammad told The Kabul Times.
The rarest over the past more than 20 years, the powerful earthquake was also reportedly felt in neighboring India and Pakistan.
The current government — the Islamic Emirate did all what it could in managing the situation and supplying assistance, soon after the incident happened in Spira district the heavily natural disaster-shocked district of Paktika province, said Hammad.
“All related organs of the Islamic Emirate; from the Supreme Leader (Amir-ul-Mumineen to an ordinary Mujahid got involved in the incident and served the nation as much as they could,” according to Hammad.
But lack of helicopter was the biggest problems to evacuate the wounded to the hospitals, because, the quake-stricken area was extremely mountainous and supplying assistance was too hard via ground transportation. On the other hand, while the road to the affected sites was damaged due to the ensuing continued rainfalls, supplying aids by trucks was also difficult.
“After the American forces left the country, they transferred tens of helicopters and planes out of the country.
If there were enough helicopters, the tragedy would have been managed soon controlled better,” he believed.
Anyway, both national and international aid agencies provided assistances to the incident’s victims, he continued.
“To prevent or at least reduce the negative aftermath of such incidents, a flat plain should be considered by the organs concerned to build a township for the quake-affected people, as their houses are/were built with mud, clay and stone on the mountain slopes, which could be extremely vulnerable and hard to live, particularly, during seasonal the rainfalls and harsh winter,” Hammad said.
For now, he said the earthquake victims needed emergency humanitarian assistances including food items, tents and other needed temporary shelters.
The cold weather is just about three months to arrive in the cold climate country, warned Hammad who asked for continuation aids for the poverty stricken people.
“The area residents have serious economic problems, even tens of women survived the quake, had no a slipper,” regretted the expert, asking the national and international aid agencies for long stay alongside the IEA in continuing assistance to the victims.
At the end, Hammad welcomed establishment of a commission by the IEA authorities to help the victims’ representatives’ secure direct contact and solve their problems. “In this case, they do not need to refer to the ministry of interior or other related government agencies. They can directly contact the commission to receive their response about their problems easily,” said the expert.
The state-controlled Bakhtar News Agency also reported that by Wednesday evening, last week, there was still limited information coming from the area the another aftershock jolted the same district leaving five people dead and scores wounded.
The agency reported that an emergency blood drive had been launched, as video posted by the agency showed people searching through the rubble with their bare hands for their buried relatives.
Relief efforts were hampered by the remote locations and geological tensions, besides damaged roads and landslide.
The IEA Disaster Management Chief Mawlavi Sharafuddin Muslim said that some villages have been completely destroyed.
Thousands of packages of assistances from national and international aid agencies are yet to arrive at the hard-hit region.
The Islamic Emirate authorities welcomed aid from outside the country and the UN pledged support.
Nik Mohammad Nikmal

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.