Afghanistan earthquake leaves over 1,000 dead: A look at some of deadliest tremors in past two decades


Over a thousand people have been left dead in Afghanistan in one of the worst earthquakes in the country in two decades.

State-run news agency reported that as many as 90 houses have been destroyed in Paktika and dozens of people are suspected to be trapped under the rubble. According to European Mediterranean Seismological Centre, the earthquake was also felt in the neighbouring countries of Pakistan and India.

Rescue efforts are expected to falter as many international aid organisations had left the country after Taliban’s takeover.

Footage revealed that people are being airlifted from the affected area and many were even being treated on ground. Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesperson of the Taliban government urged international rescue teams to send help immediately, according to a report in The Hindu.

Let's look at the five worst earthquakes of the past two decades:

25 April, 2015: Nepal

A magnitude of 7.8 earthquake devastated the lives of 8 million people as per a United Nations’ estimate. Nearly 9,000 people were killed in this earthquake along and 600,000 houses were either destroyed or severely damaged. In the capital city of Kathmandu several unclaimed bodies were removed and cremated to steer clear of diseases. Local officials reported that many of those who died could be migrant workers from India, according to a Reuters report.

According to a BBC report, survivors who feared to go back inside buildings made makeshift shelters to live in. As tremors were felt in India, many students in Siliguri were asked to take exams out in the open to avoid any untoward incident.

An earthquake damaged home in Dolakha. News18

11 March, 2011: Japan

The 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami not only killed nearly 15,690 people but also triggered world’s biggest Fukushima nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986, according to a report by Reuters. Many other nuclear plants were forcefully shut following the catastrophe.

According to a National Geographic report, the meltdown of three nuclear reactors at Fukushima power plant released toxic elements in the environment due to which many were forced to evacuate their homes in nearby areas.

Tsunami that flooded the country. AFP

13 January, 2010: Haiti

The earthquake ravaged the capital city of Port-au-Prince, where people skimmed through the debris of fallen buildings to try and help injured people. With a magnitude of 7.0, the quake killed 316,000 people according to a report in Reuters. The United Nations headquarters located in the city was also completely destroyed.

Many survivors of the earthquake showed reluctance to return to their wrecked homes and preferred to sleep in open areas. The report says that the country was also ill-equipped to rescue and treat the injured. Faint calls of help could be heard from under the debris as people hoped to get rescued.

Shacks were built for those who lost their homes in the earthquake. AFP

 12 May, 2008: China

About 70,000 deaths were reported when an earthquake of 7.9 magnitude struck the mountainous stretch of Sichuan. As many as 5,000 students had died as a result of the quake that damaged about 12,000 schools, as per reports by CNN.

Soon after the quake many held the Chinese government responsible for poorly constructing the schools that accounted in so many deaths of students.

Known for its restrictive policies, the government even reached out to foreign rescue teams to assist them in cleaning-up after the disaster.

Survivors walk through debris as clea-up operations were underway. News18

8 October, 2005: Pakistan

The US Geological Survey recorded a 7.6 magnitude earthquake that killed 75,000 people according to a recent BBC report. The earthquake affected areas in northern Pakistan, Afghanistan and India.

It triggered many landslides in the country and reduced buildings to rubble. Jolts were also felt in India and even parts of Bangladesh, according to a report by The Guardian. Aftershocks were felt in the affected regions for hours after the earthquake. In a bid to save healing patients, many hospitals evacuated them to open laws fearing more tremors.

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Afghanistan earthquake leaves over 1,000 dead: A look at some of deadliest tremors in past two decades
Afghanistan earthquake leaves over 1,000 dead: A look at some of deadliest tremors in past two decades
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