South Asia Recovers Slowly from Monday’s Earthquake

South Asia Recovers Slowly from Monday’s Earthquake
courtesy of plan-international.org
courtesy of plan-international.org

With their homes destroyed, survivors from Monday’s 7.5 magnitude earthquake prepared for their fourth night in the freezing weather. [1].

Monday’s earthquake killed over 390 people in Pakistan and Afghanistan, displacing civilians and destroying thousands of homes. With winter approaching,  the earthquake’s timing could not have been worse. As one survivor from the elevated province Charun Ovir explained, “After November 15 there will be three to four feet of snow here and we have nothing to protect us” [2].

“The government must act now before the snow falls,” he said, “After that the roads will be blocked and we won’t be able to save our children” [3]. Various residents such as Mohammad Akram call for action from the government, saying that “the government has not asked what happened to us. No government official visited us” [4].

Of the 25,000 houses damaged from the quake, over 15,000 belong to the Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa [5]. Afghanistan has not fared much better, with 121 people dead and over 8,000 houses damaged. The Taliban has been hindering many protection groups from getting to affected areas. [6] [7].

As South Asia is a hotspot for natural disasters, Monday’s earthquake was the fifth major quake to hit within the past decade and a half. In fact, it did not even make it onto the list of the top five deadliest earthquakes that had hit South Asia in recent years [8]. Nevertheless, CNN producer from Kabul stated, “It was really bad. In 30 years of my life, it was the worst I experienced myself” [9].

by Bradford Lin ’18 | Staff Writer