Just hours after a powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit Afghanistan on Monday afternoon, CEO Abdullah Abdullah held an emergency meeting and then addressed the nation on the situation. He also called on aid agencies and other organizations to help with urgent aid to those affected.
Centered in the Hindu Kush mountains in Jurm district of Badakhshan, the earthquake occurred at 1:40 pm Kabul time and is reported to have been the most powerful in many years.
Abdullah said that efforts are underway to assess the affected areas and dispatch emergency relief packages.
He also said that casualty figures have not yet been confirmed but reports are coming in of extensive damage having been caused in some areas.
He warned of possible aftershocks and called on all aid agencies to help provide affected people with relief packages.
In addition he said: "We call on the citizens and aid organizations to take necessary precautions for the [possible] aftershocks," Abdullah urged.
Initial reports put the earthquake at 7.7 but the United States Geological Survey later downgraded it to a 7.5 magnitude. An hour after the quake, an aftershock measuring 4.4 was recorded in the area.
Kabul city, which is just over 250 kms from the epicenter shook considerably by the quake, with thousands of residents running from their homes and offices.
Scores of residents reported damage to their homes and many windows were broken during the quake.