• At 01.30 local time on 22 June, a 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck the Central Region of Afghanistan impacting Paktika and Khost provinces. The earthquake – which was recorded at a depth of 10 km – was reportedly felt in neighbouring provinces including Kabul, as well as in Islamabad, Pakistan and India.
• Affected districts identified to date include Barmal, Ziruk, Nika and Giyan in Paktika province and Spera district in Khost Province. Gayan district in Paktika province is reportedly the worst affected with up to 200 people killed and 100 people injured, many of them seriously. The number of people killed or injured has yet to be confirmed. In addition, up to 1,800 homes have reportedly been destroyed and damaged in Gayan, representing 70 per cent of the district’s housing stock. In Spera district, Khost province, 25 people have reportedly been killed and 20 injured.
• The number of casualties is expected to rise as search and rescue operations are ongoing. Already, the Ministry of Defense has dispatched five helicopters to Paktika province to facilitate medevacs, and one medical team to Gayan district. UNICEF has also deployed at least 12 teams of health workers to Gayan district, and several mobile health and nutrition teams to Barmal district in Paktika province and Spera district in Khost province. Humanitarian search and rescue teams, including INSARAG and UNDAC, are on standby to deploy as needed.
• Immediate needs identified include emergency trauma care, emergency shelter and non-food items, food assistance and WASH support.
Preliminary Humanitarian Needs and Response
Humanitarian partners are preparing to assist affected families in Paktika and Khost provinces in coordination with the de-facto authorities, including the Office for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs (ANDMA). The Ministry of Defense is leading the response, including search and rescue efforts, and has sent 45 ambulances to Paktika province while the Paktika Provincial Health Department has dispatched eight ambulances and a team of doctors to Paktika. Although search and rescue efforts are ongoing, heavy rain and wind is hampering efforts with helicopters reportedly unable to land this afternoon.
At present, casualties are being transferred by the de facto authorities to Sharan, Paktika hospital and Urgun hospital, with the road between Shahidano Chawk and Sharan hospital closed to all civilian traffic to facilitate the transportation of injured. To date, at least 130 injured people have been transferred and admitted to Sharan (50), Paktika (40) and Urgun hospitals (37).
Humanitarian actors are also providing emergency assistance with WHO, OHPM and CARE deploying 14 mobile health teams to Paktika province and in Khost province OHPM and IRC deploying four mobile health teams to affected areas. IFRC and ARCS have redirected three mobile health teams in Paktika to address immediate needs and are mobilizing additional medical supplies to be deployed from Kabul. WHO has also delivered 100 cartons of emergency medicine to Giyan and Barmal. Since the early hours of the morning, IMC has responded to affected communities by deploying ambulances, medication, and medical equipment. Over the coming day, joint needs assessments involving UNICEF, WFP, IOM, DRC and DACAAR are planned for Giyan and Barmal districts in Paktika province. The Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund has identified partners already active in the area and has mobilized additional resources that can potentially be immediately deployed based on assessed needs.
Families of those whose homes have been damaged or destroyed are being hosted by their relatives and other members of their communities, although some are reportedly living in the open. Given the unseasonable, heavy rains and cold, emergency shelter is an immediate priority. ANDMA has delivered food and emergency tents to some of those families living in the open but more assistance is required.
OCHA is coordinating the emergency response on behalf of humanitarian partners with an Operational Coordination Team (OCT) meeting held this morning and teams deployed to Paktika (IOM, DRC, DACARR, UNICEF, WHO, WFP and WSTA) and Khost (IRC, OHPM, NRC, CARE, WFP, CHA, WSTA, WFP, UNICEF) provinces. Representatives from the defacto authorities in Kabul and the Governor’s Office in the affected areas are also on site.
An ad-hoc meeting of the central region’s inter-cluster coordination team will also take place today.
For further information, please contact:
Kate Carey, Deputy Head of Office, OCHA Afghanistan, email@example.com
For more information, please visit: unocha.org | reliefweb.int facebook.com/UNOCHAAfghanistan | twitter.com/OCHAAfg
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.