At 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 22, a 5.9-magnitude earthquake hit the Paktika and Khost provinces of Afghanistan, causing huge damage, killing at least 1,000 people, injuring more than 1,500 and causing widespread damage to infrastructure and homes. Gayan district in Paktika province—where International Medical Corps has been working for years—was the worst-affected.
International Medical Corps was the first to respond in Gayan district, mobilizing staff and ambulances, and providing critical trauma care to impacted communities. Our in-country staff worked through the night, and are continuing to treat injuries and save lives. Even so, the number of casualties is expected to rise as search-and-rescue operations continue in rugged, remote terrain. Our teams have confirmed that many villages have sustained significant damage, with most residents injured or killed.
Working hand-in-hand with local health authorities, we already have treated more than 475 patients through our First Aid Trauma Post, and are in the process of redeploying teams from other parts of the country to support the continuing and significant need for trauma care. We also are moving medicines, medical supplies and ambulances from other facilities to the affected area, supporting triage of the injured and helping to move the seriously injured via helicopter.
Other priority needs in the region include emergency shelter, non-food items, food assistance and WASH support.
Check back here often, as the situation is rapidly changing. We will be sure to keep you updated as the situation and our response evolves.