Afghanistan earthquake live news: Hundreds killed in major tremor

Afghanistan’s deadliest earthquake in 20 years kills at least 920 in the remote provinces of Paktika and Khost.

  • At least 920 people have been killed and 600 others injured after a magnitude 5.9 earthquake rocked remote parts of southeastern Afghanistan.
  • Authorities say hundreds of homes have been destroyed in the underdeveloped region.
  • Tremors could be felt in neighbouring Pakistan and Iran, where there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

Interactive - Afghanistan earthquake

These are the latest updates:

1 min ago (11:37 GMT)

Situation ‘getting worse by the hour’: UNICEF

The situation in Afghanistan’s eastern provinces hit by a magnitude 5.9 earthquake is “getting worse by the hour,” Samantha Mort, Chief of Communication, Advocacy and Civic Engagement at UNICEF, has told Al Jazeera.

Mort said access to the remote provinces was complicated by recent landslides due to heavy rainfall but that UNICEF’s teams were able to reach some of the affected areas.

“There will be desperate efforts ongoing at the moment to uncover people who are trapped under the rubble and get them to hospital,” she added. “Our teams are there giving emergency first aid to those who are injured.”

17 mins ago (11:21 GMT)

PM convenes emergency meeting to coordinate relief efforts

Prime Minister Mohammad Hassan Akhund has convened an emergency meeting at the presidential palace to coordinate the relief efforts.

Bilal Karimi, a deputy spokesman for the Taliban government, urged aid agencies on Twitter to send teams to the area.

UN resident coordinator in Afghanistan, Ramiz Alakbarov, said more help was being mobilised.

28 mins ago (11:11 GMT)

Helicopters taking bodies, wounded to Kabul and other provinces

Rescuers have rushed to the remote Paktika province by helicopter, some 50 kilometres (31 miles) southwest of the city of Khost.

People wrapped in blankets were waiting to board helicopters, the Associated Press reported. Some were treated on the ground.

Ismail Zadran, a local resident and social activist of Zerok district of Paktika province, told Al Jazeera that 152 people were killed in the Geyan district and several hundred were wounded. In Danggar Algad area, in the Barmal district of Paktika province, 140 people were killed and several hundred people were wounded.

38 mins ago (11:00 GMT)

Hundreds likely trapped under the rubbles: Official

Muhammad Amin Huzaifa, head of Paktika Culture and Information Department, told Al Jazeera the earthquake made victims in Geyan, Zerok, Barmal and Naka districts of the Paktika province.

Homes were razed to the ground and hundreds of people were likely trapped under the rubbles, Huzaifa said.

A collapsed home is seen following a powerful earthquake in Afghanistan.
Homes were razed to the ground by a 5.9 magnitude earthquake. [Al Jazeera/Stringer]

1 hour ago (10:30 GMT)

Afghan authorities: Hundreds of homes destroyed in Paktika

Authorities are reporting hundreds of homes have been destroyed in the underdeveloped Paktika region, Afghan journalist Ali M Latifi said, reporting from Kabul.

“Authorities have sent helicopters and are calling for aid agencies to come in and rescue people from the rubble. But it’s a remote area and harder to reach,” Latifi told Al Jazeera.

2 hours ago (10:05 GMT)

Death toll from Afghanistan earthquake at least 920: Disaster ministry

The death toll from an overnight earthquake in Afghanistan has risen to at least 920, the country’s deputy minister for disaster management has said.

“So far the information we have is that at least 920 people have been martyred and 600 injured,” Sharafuddin Muslim told a press conference.