Aid workers struggle to reach quake victims in Afghanistan

More than eleven hundred people have died in the earthquake that devastated several regions of eastern Afghanistan. Ali Rogin reports on the challenges aid organizations are facing to make large deliveries of desperately-needed emergency supplies.

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  • Geoff Bennett:

    More than 1100 people have died in the earthquake that devastated several regions of eastern Afghanistan. And even though many international aid organizations got to work immediately after it's taken days to make bigger deliveries of desperately needed emergency aid. Ali Rogin has the story.

  • Ali Rogin:

    After days of little outside help, aid is finally arriving in remote villages ravaged by the earthquake, getting it there takes time. Deliveries must be flown into the capital city Kabul, then loaded onto smaller trucks and helicopters for 1000 mile journey. The Washington Post's Susannah George shot this video as her reporting team traveled to the affected villages.

  • Susannah George, The Washington Post:

    This is not the kind of area that these large aid trucks are going to be able to easily access. It's going to require a being brought to one of the towns near the affected areas and then brought down piecemeal to families who are in need.

  • Ali Rogin:

    And those families need not just food but shelter.

  • Susannah George:

    The villages that we visited, every single house had either been destroyed or had been damaged beyond repair. As families brought us into the houses that's where you saw the devastation that was incredibly deadly. It was the collapsed roofs of these mud brick homes.

  • Ali Rogin:

    Some survivors are trying to salvage their homes, but they are met with reminders of Afghanistan's existing challenges like its economic crisis. The Taliban has been under severe international sanctions since it seized power.

    Akbar, Resident of Gayan (through translator): Wood is very expensive, our houses are destroyed. There is no business, no jobs, we request the Islamic Emirate to help us adequately.

  • Ali Rogin:

    But not all Afghans are convinced that the Islamic Emirate, as the Taliban calls itself can help.

    What were villagers telling you about whether they had confidence that the Taliban could effectively deliver recovery?

  • Susannah George:

    A lot of the people who were impacted by the quake said they didn't believe that the Taliban was going to be any less corrupt when it came to delivering aid money than the previous government. But when we did speak to Taliban supporters in the region, they told us that the Taliban are known for not being corrupt, unlike the previous government, and that that was going to be the key element that was going to allow the group to deliver aid in a more effective and in a faster way.

  • Ali Rogin:

    As the Taliban's disaster relief abilities are tested, hospitals continue to fill with survivors of the earthquake, and the ground fills with more of its victims. For "PBS News Weekend," I'm Ali Rogin.

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