More than 900 people have reportedly been killed in an earthquake in Afghanistan The hardest hit areas were remote farming villages in the eastern Afghan province of Paktika. "All the village completely is destroyed," said one man, showing collapsed homes on a cell phone video.

More than 900 people have reportedly been killed in an earthquake in Afghanistan

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As if Afghanistan had not already suffered enough, an earthquake struck overnight. It struck remote areas that may take time to reach, but already Afghan state media say 900 people are dead. NPR's Diaa Hadid reports from Islamabad.

DIAA HADID, BYLINE: A man swings around the camera on his mobile phone in the early light in a video shared by the Taliban's state-run news agency, Bakhtar. The man shows one collapsed house, then two, then three.


UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: (Non-English language spoken).

HADID: NPR's Kabul producer Fazelminallah Qazizai translates.


UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: (Through interpreter) I'm doing this video to show that all people here are under the buildings. In that house, five people are under the building. In this house, six people and in this house, 15 dead bodies still under there. And up there, all the village completely destroyed.

HADID: It's not yet clear how many villages were shaken, how many homes were flattened, or the fate of the men, women and children who had been sleeping within them. The worst-affected areas are so hard to reach, the Taliban dispatched rescue workers by helicopters. Another image shared by Bakhtar News Agency showed men extracting what appeared to be a small body, wrapped in a blanket, out of the rubble. UNICEF says it's helping.

SAMANTHA MORT: We've got people on the ground who are distributing blankets and hygiene kits. We've got several mobile health and nutrition teams on the way to administer first aid to those who are injured.

HADID: Samantha Mort is Afghanistan's UNICEF spokeswoman. She says this is a country already struck by so many hardships.

MORT: This is a population that is deeply impoverished, where there is high unemployment, where they are suffering from, you know, the worst drought in 37 years. There's also a chronic malnutrition crisis.

HADID: The United Nations is already struggling to raise enough money to cover its needs for this year. Now they'll need more.

Diaa Hadid, NPR News, Islamabad.


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