The Afghanistan Earthquake

By Kris W. Sky | Posted June 28, 2022

On Wednesday, June 21, just before 1:30 a.m., a powerful earthquake surged through the largely rural area of eastern Afghanistan, injuring 2,000 people and decimating 10,000 dwellings. Reports vary as to the magnitude, at either 5.9 or 6.1, as well as the number killed, anywhere from 770 to 1,150 people. The Associated Press (AP) confirmed, “The quake was Afghanistan’s deadliest in two decades” and “was felt over 500 kilometers (310 miles) by 119 million people across Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.”  

Photos from the BBC show Afghans in the middle of piles of stone, brick, and wood debris. Once homes that sheltered “on average … seven or eight people” each, they are now only burial mounds for husbands, mothers, and scores of young children. 

“Every street you go, you hear people mourning the deaths of their beloved ones,” a reporter remarked.

“There is no meaning to my life [anymore]. … I saw my three daughters and four grandchildren die[;] my heart is broken,” said one man.

Another survivor described the gut-wrenching choice he made in rescuing family members. Both his daughter and his wife were trapped beneath the rubble. He got his child out first. By the time he returned for his wife, she had died.

The Poor Get Poorer

The quake’s epicenter, the province of Paktika, is a land already weathered from conflict, from war with the Soviets in the early 1980s to the current Taliban occupation after the United States’ controversial withdrawal in 2021. In fact, news articles unanimously emphasized the Taliban resurgence as one of the main obstacles in providing relief to the decimated population: Now, “many countries, including the U.S., funnel humanitarian aid to Afghanistan through the U.N. and other such organizations to avoid putting money in the Taliban’s hands.”

This, coupled with an unfriendly terrain, slowed the process way down. Though trucks and airplanes from such organizations as UNICEF, an arm of the United Nations dedicated to humanitarian aid for children, succeeded in arriving in the country with supplies, it took hours more to reach the villages themselves, “at least a three-hour drive away from the nearest big city.”

Furthermore, after the Taliban takeover, “world governments halted billions in development aid and froze billions more in Afghanistan’s currency reserves, refusing to recognize the Taliban government and demanding they allow a more inclusive rule and respect human rights.” This nearly global move was a significant blow to a country in which “more than 60% of [a] population of 38 million … relies on international aid to survive.” Besides famishing millions, the sanctions also decreased “average incomes … by about a third,” including those in the medical sector. That meant that even once aid reached the disaster sites, the struggling villagers then had to contend with the “many health facilities around the country [which had] shut down, unable to pay personnel or obtain supplies.” As one doctor explained, “We didn’t have enough people and facilities before the earthquake, and now the earthquake has ruined the little we had.”

While some of the more critically wounded have since been transported to hospitals in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital city more than 160 miles away, many others spent “more than 24 hours after the quake … digging through the rubble by hand in search of survivors” and the next two nights “sleeping outdoors in the rain [under] erected tents in the yards of their wrecked houses.”

On Friday, they were then hit with a 4.2-magnitude earthquake, an aftershock that killed an additional five people and injured another 11 in Gayan, a district of Paktika. By Saturday, “authorities … called off the search for survivors.”

The AP also reported that “in a rare move, the Taliban’s supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzadah, who almost never appears in public, pleaded with the international community and humanitarian organizations ‘to help the Afghan people affected by this great tragedy and to spare no effort.’” It was an anomaly that spoke to the severity of the situation.


God’s Rescue Plan

What do you do when you’re caught between a rock and a hard place? You want to help the victims, but you also don’t trust the government under which those victims reside. Actually, God has been dealing with just such a problem for thousands of years—and His solution is infallible. Moreover, it is guaranteed.

The ultimate humanitarian aid has come into the world. He was sent by the most powerful country in the universe, the kingdom of God; and He was delivered up to rescue the victims of this world, the entire human population: “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9, 10).

Do you know the mission of Jesus Christ? Do you know that you have been “Saved from Certain Death”?

Our world is run by a fiend and a tyrant, “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). The devil has made every effort to stop relief from reaching you. But he has failed. You have a Rescuer. You have a hand constantly reaching down to pull you free from the rubble. You have a Savior who will climb the steepest mountain and ford the deepest sea “to seek the one [sheep] that is straying” (Matthew 18:12). Jesus Christ has not abandoned us. And even in the darkest, deserted, most forgotten places of the earth, He finds us.

Kris W. Sky
Kris W. Sky is a writer and editor for Amazing Facts International and other online and print publications.

When you post, you agree to the terms and conditions of our comments policy.

If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.
To help maintain a Christian environment, we closely moderate all comments.

  1. Please be patient. We strive to approve comments the day they are made, but please allow at least 24 hours for your comment to appear. Comments made on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday may not be approved until the following Monday.

  2. Comments that include name-calling, profanity, harassment, ridicule, etc. will be automatically deleted and the invitation to participate revoked.

  3. Comments containing URLs outside the family of Amazing Facts websites will not be approved.

  4. Comments containing telephone numbers or email addresses will not be approved.

  5. Comments off topic may be deleted.

  6. Please do not comment in languages other than English.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or by Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate.