Afghanistan’s Cry for Aid After Devastating Earthquake
By: Anthony Zhang
Recently, Afghanistan was hit by an earthquake on June 21st midnight. It caused hundreds of homes to be destroyed and an estimated 770 deaths and 1140 injured. Now Afghanistans are looking for aid around the world.
“In Geyan alone, one of the hardest-hit districts in Paktika, the U.N. agency said that 1,500 houses were damaged or destroyed,” noted Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Emma Bubola. “Some residents live in homes of straw and clay, and survivors described entire villages being wiped out.” Thousands after the earthquake went homeless; the harsh cold climate didn’t help them either.
One of the most severely affected places was Pakistan. “Scattered across the hillside are small villages of mud-brick homes that rise out of the dull clay and are accessible only by dirt roads weaving through jagged mountains specked with shrubs,” noted journalist Christina Goldbaum.
However there were thousands of generous organizations and people who wanted to help the Afghanistan. There were cars from local charities donating what they could: bread, flour, rice, and blankets. There were medical workers helping the wounded. But even with the international support, local aid groups, and generous organizations, the Afghanistans suffered.
Many American human rights advocates are pressuring the Biden administration to work with the Taliban government and provide it with economic assistance. The Biden Administration has denied this request due to “ fear that the Taliban might steal or redirect American aid for unintended uses.”
Why was this earthquake so destructive? Scientists have measured the magnitude of this earthquake to be 5.9 which on average, 1300 other quakes of this magnitude occur each year. This common earthquakes are usually mild and don’t cause deaths and massive destruction. So what made this earthquake so severe? Many houses are made of masonry or even mud. These materials break easily with stress. Houses made of wood, steel or steel-reinforced masonry are generally more capable of withstanding earthquakes. Along with the fact that this earthquake occurred at night, the majority were unaware beforehand.
As the world becomes more digitized, technology will be able to detect earthquakes in advance and the structures of homes and buildings will strengthen.