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China ready to provide emergency aid to Afghanistan after earthquake

BEIJING

China stands ready to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan in light of its needs, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said in response to the powerful earthquake in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistani border on Wednesday, which killed at least 1,000 people and injuring 1,500.

Wang made the remarks at a press briefing Wednesday, during which he also revealed that the preliminary verification by th shows there are no Chinese casualties so far.

“We mourn the victims of the earthquake in Afghanistan and extend condolences to the bereaved families and the injured,” Wang said. “Afghanistan is a friendly neighbor of China. We stand ready to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan in light of its needs.”

“It’s very sad to hear terrible earthquake make losses on Afg human life. China always stands by Afg and will provide assistance to Afg people,” Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan Wang Yu wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

The Global Times reached the Chinese Embassy in Afghanistan on Wednesday for more information on the situation of Chinese people in the earthquake-hit regions but has received no reply as of press time.

The earthquake was reportedly the deadliest to strike Afghanistan in two decades.

The powerful earthquake struck a rural, mountainous region in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistani border early Wednesday morning local time, killing at least 1,000 people and injuring 1,500, media reported, with the tolls expected to rise as rescuers try to reach the site of the disaster in remote Paktika and Khost provinces.

China Earthquake Networks Center said that the 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck Afghanistan at a depth of 30 kilometers with its epicenter located southwest to the Afghanistan province of Khost near Paktika province, near the Pakistani border. Strong and long jolts were also felt in the capital Kabul 200 kilometers away.

The quake was felt in multiple cities including Islamabad and Rawalpindi in Pakistan, according to Pakistani media reports.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said the magnitude of the earthquake was 5.9, revising an initial estimate of 6.1.

According to Afghanistan’s state-run Bakhtar news agency, helicopters and rescuers arrived in Paktika.

According to the director of the police station in Giani district, Paktika, many people died while sleeping when the earthquake struck early Wednesday morning. Local officials said they were searching for survivors from collapsed houses.

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