UN Aid Efforts Under Way in Quake-Hit Northern Afghanistan

NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–20 April 2010 – The United Nations humanitarian wing is coordinating emergency aid and assessing the damage in northern Afghanistan following a 5.3-magnitude earthquake that reportedly killed at least seven people and injured dozens of others.

The quake hit the mountainous Samangan province, northwest of the capital, Kabul, on Monday.

Aid workers are on the scene trying to assess the extent of the casualties and the destruction in the districts of Dara-i-Sufi Bala, Dara-i-Sufi Payin and Ruyi du Ab, but some access had been blocked due to the damage.

An estimated 2,000 houses are damaged or destroyed, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Livestock and goods were also lost.

In addition to emergency shelter, water and sanitation and food, aid workers are assembling non-food items, including quilts, tarpaulins, jerry cans, household kits and clothes.

Veterinary support for injured animals is another concern, as are transport and warehousing capacities and communications support.

More details are expected once the assessment teams have completed the preliminary visits.