This morning Afghanistan and Pakistan were struck by a violent 7.5-magnitude earthquake with its epicentre in the region of Badakhshan, a mountainous area of the Hindu Kush, 170 km from the Afghan capital, Kabul. The earthquake was also felt in India.
This isolated region, which has been hit by deadly earthquakes in the past, is difficult to access, and reports of casualties and material damage are changing by the hour. An estimated 931,807 people live within a 100-kilometre radius of the disaster.
Handicap International has been present in Afghanistan since 1987 and Pakistan since 1985. The organisation has extensive experience of aiding earthquake victims and provided emergency response in Nepal in April 2015, Haiti in 2010 and Pakistan in 2008. The impact of the earthquake is currently being assessed and Handicap International’s team are ready to launch an emergency response.