A small Afghan town is mourning the loss of 13 schoolchildren who were among the nearly 300 people killed in a massive earthquake that also hit northern Pakistan. Mana Rabiee reports.
Funerals held for Afghan children killed in quake
A small town in this remote area of northeastern Afghanistan is coping with unimaginable loss.
Funerals were held in Takhar for 13 schoolgirls killed in a massive earthquake the day before that also hit neighboring Pakistan and was even felt across northern India.
The girls reportedly died during a stampede to escape their school building during Monday’s 7.5 magnitude quake.
Their small coffins draped with the Afghan flag… as families mourn lives that were taken from this world far too soon.
SOUNDBITE: SAYED HUSSIN, A FAMILY MEMBER OF ONE OF THE CHILDREN KILLED, SAYING:
“Yesterday’s incident was tragic and caused damage in our province. Thirteen families are now in sorrow and tragedy. We are suddenly asking ‘what has happened here?'”
Authorities say the death toll in Afghanistan has climbed to more than 80 and at least least 4,000 houses and compounds are damaged or destroyed… although Pakistan was the worst hit with close to 230 deaths confirmed there so far.
But the destruction in Afghanistan creates an additional hardship as winter temperatures set in…
Some residents are digging through rubble with bare hands, hoping to salvage what they can.
Communications are still down in much of Afghanistan’s rugged Hindu Kush mountain range where the quake was centered…. and the death toll could climb higher in the coming days as aid finally reaches those most in need.