Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

 You are in:  Talking Point
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Thursday, 4 April, 2002, 10:07 GMT 11:07 UK
Afghanistan earthquake: Your experiences
It is now feared that the number of people killed in the earthquake disaster in northern Afghanistan has risen sharply after fresh aftershocks hit the region on Wednesday morning.

Government officials had previously talked of about 2,000 deaths from a series of earthquakes which flattened the market town of Nahrin and affected 40 nearby villages in the remote province of Baghlan.

Aid is being flown and driven into the region, but the aftershocks and badly-damaged roads are slowing the operation.

If you are in the region, tell us about your experiences. Should the West do more to help Afghanistan?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your reaction

At the time of the earthquake I was in my shop with my friends and I felt jerk, I thought I that something is wrong with me. And then my friend told me that this was an earthquake. When next morning I came to my shop I learned that 2000 people died in NAHRIN in an earthquake. I think it's because of the USA's bombing... otherwise why did such an earthquake not happen in Pakistan, Iran and other neighbourhood countries??
Wahid, Uzbekistan

Whatever aid is sent for the victims at Quake stricken area. Please do not let it fall in the hands of the warlords.
Khalid Rahim, Canada

I am not in the region currently but I am from there. I think the bombing and use of weapons of mass destruction in Afghanistan caused the earthquake.

This is clearly a natural disaster. Why can't we all get together and help those suffering instead of imposing war which is clearly a man-made disaster? We all thrive for a good living standard, and yet when there is a disaster it takes far too long for the general society to come together for aid. Or is it the fact it is in Afghanistan? And at this moment with the war going on the Americans are controlling all aid reaching various parts. We can come together as a nation at war but not for help. This is what America wants and this is what America is going to get. They need to move out and leave them be and get on with their lives. They are going to be accepted in Afghanistan if they lend a helping hand which they are not likely to do whilst at war..
Raza Ulah, England

Why are the rich Muslim countries, who are brothers of Afghans, not helping?

Bill Johnson, UK
Why are the rich Muslim countries, who are brothers of Afghans, not helping? The West is often criticized, but it appears they are the only ones helping.
Bill Johnson, UK

My relatives in the damaged area have reported that 60% of population has died there and relief works are not carried out at all in most of the areas.
Neelam Imine, Pakistan (Afghan Refuge)

At the time of the earthquake I was in Peshawar with my friends and I felt jerk, I thought I that something is wrong with me. And then my friend told me that this was an earthquake. When next morning I came to my office I learned that 2000 people died in Afghanistan in an earthquake. I wonder, why do all natural and man-made disasters come on Afghan people?
Noorullah, Pakistan

It is sad that the Afghan people have suffered a lot from continuous wars, and now this earthquake. We, the international community, especially the west, should sincerely and seriously help Afghanistan in this crucial moment. I would like to see a special conference, sponsored by the UN, to work out the re-building of Afghanistan, with short-term and long-term plans, defiantly without strings attached. Let us see the human side in all of us.
Robert A Khin, Burma/Malaysia

Linking earthquakes in Afghanistan to US bombing is irresponsible to say the least. It's like linking global warming to the launching of the space shuttle. It's an example of an irresponsible hysteria and does nothing to help the victims. Ask what we can do to help, not who to blame.
Daryl Moistner, USA but British citizen

I wonder if the world is seeing the earthquakes as a result of American bombs

Mahmoud, Cameroon
I wonder if the world is seeing the earthquakes as a result of American bombs. Who is to suffer in the end the innocent Afghans? The Americans knew the after effects of dropping so many heavy bombs within such a small area and should have sought other means to end the terrorism other than indiscriminate bombings. Now this is the result. How can stable earth all of a sudden develop such heavy tremors if not after the impacts of tonnes of bombs? This piece of land will forever be ruined and will never be stable. This is a geological catastrophe and it is bound to affect the whole world. A small disturbance in the geological structure can adversely affect the rest of the plates and result in disaster. We should address this issue and investigate the matter further before its too late.
Mahmoud, Cameroon

I think that Afghanistan has been through enough. It is time for the international community to really help Afghanistan rebuild its basic infrastructures, and leave them in peace. I just hope that the western troupes in that country aren't going to stick around long enough for the situation to rot into another Somalia.
Malik, Algeria/USA

I am working on the behalf of a private American relief agency in Kabul. I was startled from my sleep by the quake which was much greater than those that I experienced while living in San Francisco. In the village where I work, most everyone lives in mud huts that only days ago we fortified with supplies sent in by our agency. Only 1 house in about 30 collapsed and thankfully it was not occupied.
Aaron, USA

As an Afghan living far from Afghanistan, I become so emotional that I cannot comprehend what is happening to my homeland

Nazir, US
As an Afghan living far from Afghanistan, I become so emotional that I cannot comprehend what is happening to my homeland. People of Afghanistan have suffered enough. It is unimaginable to see how poor and devastated Afghan people are. The international community must make it their first priority to rescue the Afghan people from such dire conditions and give them a chance to prosper. I think Afghans have taken the burden of war of both east and west. During the cold war Afghanistan became the shield of Soviet expansion which caused Europe and west to live worry-free of the "Evil Empire". Time and again, in the war again international terrorism Afghans showed to the world that despite their sufferings of cold war and imposed civil war can still help the "civilized nations" to defeat the terrorism cancer. Thus, Afghanistan must be helped to stand on its feel the same way Europe was helped after WWII.
Nazir, US

This is very sad. It's not fair for them to live in poor environment and then finish their lives like that but I'm sure our god has the reason to do it.
CS, Korea

The weapon carriers in Afghanistan need to drop their weapons and begin building sturdy buildings.
Saltan Komak, Afghanistan/United States of America

I was very saddened to see the pictures of casualties in the Afghan quake. However, I would also appreciate the chance to see photos of all the civilians, children or otherwise, injured (and worse) in US and UK bombings. If journalism were truly independent and showed the grim truth, then maybe the general public would not be backing the War on Terror.
Hannah, USA

The world needs to show Afghanistan they care by helping out the Afghan people

Serhat Khan, Pakistan
The world needs to show Afghanistan they care by helping out the Afghan people. By showing their support and helping them they will be able to save lives and win the hearts of the Afghan people and bring them closer to a state of normalcy! If the world shies away it will be yet more proof that Afghanistan is important as long as it is a bombing ground!
Serhat Khan, Pakistan

I don't trust our government - I would not be in the least bit surprised if the quake were intentionally induced by them to assist them in their military operations. Mr Blair and Mr Bush do not care for people.
Peter Snow, England

It is time US should use some of the billions being used to bomb them to feed them.
Makael kakakhel, Canada

Bush could have become a hero in the Muslim world

Imran, UK
More reason why bombing needs to stop, the country has already been destroyed and the failure to catch any top Al-Qaeda suspects has proved how futile the bombing campaign has been. If Bush had spent his war budget on rebuilding Afghanistan, he could have become a hero in the Muslim world.
Imran, UK

I wonder if we will see the same level of international co-operation in helping these people as we saw on 11 September?

I wish someone can give me an international agency's name that I can send money for survivors, apart from praying for the lost souls that's all I can do, I can not comprehend why this happened to my countrymen after so much of suffering. If that is God's wish I can't question him. Please God almighty be kind to Afghanistan and Afghan people. It hurts very much.
Khairia Mukhtar, Afghanistan/USA

Sadly, nothing has properly worked out for these brave, intelligent and nice people

Khan, UK
As a distant Afghan I am very saddened for the Afghan people. Sadly, nothing has properly worked out for these brave, intelligent and nice people. Many people forget the fact that some of the greatest things were made in Afghanistan centuries ago i.e. glass, pottery etc and their contribution to the world. All I can wish for is the re-establishment of this once great country and people. They have been punished too much by in-fighting between greedy warlords and leaders and now this earthquake. My best wishes for Afghanistan.
Khan, UK

I think these quakes are the result of heavy bombing being done by USA. Please stop bombing to save the people and nature

Najib, remind me to write an angry letter to your science teacher.
Ron, US

American bombs did not trigger this earthquake, Najib, Canada. Afghanistan happens to be situated on one of the most tectonically active areas in the world due to the impaction of the Indian Sub-continent into Asia. It would be very unlikely that American bombs could cause this amount of destruction. It is not an act of God but a natural occurrence, which, coupled with mud brick housing, has led to this horrendous loss of life.
Chris Glover, Belgium/UK

Najib, Montreal, Canada: I knew it. I knew that there would be at least one person who would blame the US for this - as usual, we do it all. Unbelievable. My deepest sympathies to the Afghan people, who have suffered so much.
Jenn Kay, USA

The depth and magnitude of this earthquake is very huge - but it couldn't have happened without the bombings of the US. I believe that Afghanistan has been bombed so much that even the Afghan-land could not tolerate it anymore. It is obvious that the quake was there, but the bombings caused it to erupt.
Najib, Montreal, Canada

My mother lives across the border
and felt the jolts

Johar Ali, US
At the time of the earthquake, I was talking to my mother over the phone from the United States of America. My mother lives across the border on the Pakistani side and felt the jolts. I was terrified and was keeping a close eye on the situation. The mud houses in the region can easily collapse and cause a tremendous amount of damage. The people of Afghanistan need more than what they are getting at this point. I ask the international organisations to send help into the region sooner; the region needs a total reconstruction. All the orphans in Afghanistan need to be provided special help and be raised under recognised organisations.
Johar Ali, US

See also:

26 Mar 02 | South Asia
Quake relief effort
26 Mar 02 | Sci/Tech
Hindu Kush: High-risk quake zone
07 Feb 02 | South Asia
Timeline: Afghanistan
15 Feb 02 | Country profiles
Country profile: Afghanistan
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Talking Point stories