Afghanistan: Badakhshan Earthquake - Flash Update No. 1 - 26 October 2015

A powerful earthquake struck Badakshan Province in Afghanistan today and also affected a large area of Pakistan. According to the US Geological Service the magnitude 7.5 quake struck at 09:09 UTC (UTC), was 196 kilometers (121 miles) deep, and the epicenter was 82 kilometers southeast of Fayzabad, Afghanistan, in the district of Jurm, in the Hindu Kush mountain range. The impact of the earthquake was felt throughout most of Afghanistan but most predominantly in Badakhshan, Takhar, Kunduz, Baghlan, Nuristan, Laghman, Kunar, Nangarhar and Kabul.

Initial reports from the government and media indicate that 65 people were killed (including 12 school girls in Takhar), 300 people were injured and 1,100 homes damaged or destroyed. The National Disaster Management Committee, chaired by His Excellency Chief Executive Officer, Abdullah Abdullah, held a meeting this afternoon to gather initial damage reports and begin coordinating assessments and responses. The respective Provincial Disaster Management Committees (PMDC) have either met today or will meet tomorrow to receive damage reports and initiate further assessments.

Due to landslides, roads are blocked from Jalabad to Kabul and Taloqan to Kunduz. The Ministry of Public Works and the Ministry of Defence have dispatched equipment and crews to clear the landslides and restore access to the road network. The earthquake disrupted the mobile network resulting in intermittent access to the mobile network and hampered efforts to obtain information on the impact of the earthquake. Additionally, the epicenter struck an area of Afghanistan that is very under-developed and remote further exacerbating efforts to assess the damage.

The United Nations and its humanitarian partners in Afghanistan stand ready to support the on-going efforts of the government to assess and respond to the people impacted by the earthquake.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

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