On 26 October, a strong earthquake occurred in the hills of Northern Afghanistan. It was rated 7.5 on Richter Magnitude Scale. The nearby countries such as Pakistan and India were also affected. The buildings there were noticeably shaken, some even fell down. Citizens had to run for cover. The earthquake had caused over a thousand deaths so far, including the deaths caused when students of a school in the Takhar Province of Afghanistan ran over each other as they escaped. The earthquake was a deep earthquake, and it did not begin with strong force initially. This fortunately gave the residents a chance to escape and mitigated the disaster. Yet, after the earthquake there was widespread disruption to electricity and communication, and the affected areas are located on remote areas on the hills. The roads in some areas were blocked by landslide which affected the rescue effort.
Those relief and development agencies stationed there immediately went out to assess the situation and needs in these areas. Some have managed to distribute clean water and medical supplies. One relief team called for urgent help after knowing that the temperature is low with persistent rainfall. Many are exposed to the cold without shelter, and the situation will rapidly worsen if no immediate aid is offered.
The main partner of CEDAR for refugee relief work in the Middle East, Mission East, is also assessing the situation there. Their operations manager Peter Drummond Smith expressed that “The Badakhshan province is already completely drained of resources due to conflict the past weeks where many people have escaped and are now fled and have been living as internally displaced.”
Let us pray for the victims of the Afghanistan earthquake:
- Pray that the Lord will heal their body and soul.
- Pray that the local government and militants in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other affected countries can work with the relief teams. This will ensure early and suitable support to the victim. Pray in particular for the Pakistani government, which has not yet called for foreign help.
- Pray that the relief agencies can have an accurate assessment of the affected areas, to provide appropriate aid.
- Pray that the situation will stabilize after the earthquake, and that the militants will refrain from abusing the situation and no harm will come to the victims and relief agencies.