Afghanistan earthquake: hospital struggles to help survivors

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Eight-year-old Shakrina’s face contorts in pain and she cries as she tries to turn on her side. She has multiple fractures on her body and her left leg is bandaged from the knee down.
From the hospital bed next to her, her mother Mira extends her arm, trying to comfort her.
Mira’s right eye is heavily bruised, and she has a number of other injuries.
The two were pulled out from under the debris of their home in the Gayan district of Afghanistan’s Paktika province, six hours after an earthquake destroyed it.
“I couldn’t see my other daughter anywhere, so I asked those who rescued me where she was. That’s when they told me she had died,” Mira said, wiping her tears with her headscarf.
She found her teenage daughter Gulnoora among the bodies laid out in a row by rescuers in Gayan.
“Normally we’d sleep outside our homes, but that night there was rain and lightning, so we’d slept inside,” she said.
Now recovering at Paktika’s main provincial hospital, Mira is in a ward where almost everyone has a similar story.
Bibi Hawa is there with her 11-month-old daughter Safia. Both have multiple fractures. They’ve lost 18 members of their family in Wednesday’s quake, which killed over 1,000 people.

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