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Second Big Quake Hits Northern Afghanistan

Reports reaching World Vision staff in Kabul say a second quake in northern Afghanistan, that hit yesterday afternoon (March 27), was possibly stronger than the one that hit on Monday evening.

The continuing aftershocks coupled with rough terrain and freezing weather are posing a major headache for agencies attempting to respond to Afghanistan's latest calamity.

World Vision New Zealand aid worker James Addis, recently returned from Afghanistan, said today (March 28) that Afghanistan inevitably posed problems for the delivery of relief on a scale seldom seen in other countries.

"Problems with accessing needy areas has proved the biggest challenge with our aid operations to date. To describe Afghan roads as extremely rough would be generous," he said.

Mr Addis said the population of the quake-hit Baghlan province was already suffering from malnutrition due to the ravages of drought and war, and about 80 per cent of the population was dependent on international aid.

"This is a very vulnerable population and may perish quickly. They have no coping mechanisms left and therefore the response must be immediate and sustained," he said.

"Overnight temperatures drop to below freezing so the urgency of the response is critical."

Mr Addis said World Vision planned to fly in aid supplies from Tajikistan for distribution by other aid agencies already operating in Baghlan.

Individuals wishing to support World Vision's relief efforts in Afghanistan can phone 0800 80 2000.

For more info contact James Addis: 09 3560747;

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