Earthquake devastates regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan


Courtesy of Creative Commons

The earthquake originated in the heart of the Hindu Kush mountain range. About 400 deaths and over 2,000 injuries resulted from the earthquake.

by Nichole Chen and Michael Sikand

About 400 deaths and over 2,000 injuries resulted from a catastrophic earthquake that shook the northern regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan at around 2 p.m on Oct. 26. Wreaking havoc in some of the most remote areas of the region, the earthquake originated in the heart of the Hindu Kush mountain range.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the magnitude of the earthquake was 7.7, but then was revised to a 7.5. Regions as distant as India experienced the effects.

The earthquake affected poor regions torn by civil war induced by the Taliban. With the seasons now changing towards winter, the thousands left homeless are at serious risk.

Haris Hosseini (9) spoke about how the earthquake affected his life personally.

“It’s our heritage, so we keep up with the news, and it’s sad to see that,” Haris said. “There’s already enough political conflict, [so] you don’t need natural disasters going on.”

Officials say that this region has experienced the largest seismic activity since the catastrophic 7.6 magnitude earthquake that hit the Kashmir region, which left four million homeless and 70,000 dead.

According to the New York Times, more than 10,000 homes have been destroyed. Pakistani officials have distributed relief gear to the victims, which includes 28,219 tents, 35,700 blankets and food.

Though originally seeking funds for the Nepal disaster, Harker UNICEF has shifted its efforts to relief in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The charity club’s president, Alex Mo (11), shared UNICEF’s reasons for doing so.

“We feel like within the past few days the earthquake that has hit Afghanistan is much more pressing right now,” Alex said. “On Halloween, we hosted a trick or treat for UNICEF where the funds went to the cause.”

Chris Thompson, Harker business teacher and former National Development Director of Feed My Starving Children, shared his thoughts on the disaster.

“There is urgency to do something, whether it is to provide clothing or shelter, and in such a remote area, that is so hard,” Thompson said. “My concern is for the kids that are left helpless.”

The massive earthquake also caused a landslide in northern Pakistan.

Students from the Harker community can offer support to the individuals in need by becoming involved with Harker UNICEF.