Mission East present in Afghanistan after massive earthquake

A massive earthquake struck Monday morning northeastern Afghanistan. Danish aid organization is present in the area and preliminary reports tell of collapsed schools.

Around 10 am CET an earthquake hit Afghanistan measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale. The epicenter is located close to Faizabad, the provincial capital of Badakhshan. As far away as Islamabad and New Delhi buildings were swaying and people rushed into the streets in panic.

In the northeastern provinces of Badakhshan and Takhar there are reports of collapsed schools and several casualties. Mission East is already present in the area and local staff have started to get an overview over the devastation in order to initiate an early disaster response in the affected communities. All Mission East staff is safe.

"It is an extremely serious situation. 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. We are conducting needs assessment to quickly determine the best way to respond." says Mission East’s operations manager Peter Drummond Smith.

In the past weeks Mission East has distributed emergency assistance to internally displaced families who have fled the fighting in and around the city of Kunduz. The organization has been working in the Afghan provinces of Baghlan, Takhar and Badakhshan since 2001. They work on establishing water systems, building passable roads and support sustainable agriculture in the area. Furthermore people are trained to cultivate the land with resilient crops and to manage and prevent natural disasters. Mission East activities counteract poverty and help people who are victims of conflicts and natural disasters