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El Cajon family grieves 'incomprehensible' loss from deadly Afghan earthquake

El Cajon family grieves 'incomprehensible' loss from deadly Afghan earthquake
Posted at 4:32 PM, Jun 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-28 20:42:04-04

EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) - An El Cajon family is mourning an incompressible loss in the wake of a deadly earthquake that rocked southeastern Afghanistan a week ago.

The magnitude 5.9 quake struck southeastern Afghanistan a week ago in the middle of the night. The death toll is now closing in on 1,200.

In the hours that followed, Lalmir Hamdard started getting calls from family who live in a remote village in the Gayan District, near the epicenter.

“I was really sad, I was crying,” said Hamdard.

Photos show what little is left of the home of his uncle, Khadery Zadran, located about three miles from the epicenter.

Zadran, his wife and seven children were sleeping inside, when the quake collapsed the home. Neighbors found a 5-year-old girl and 6-year-old boy alive, in the rubble.

“They rescued the two kids. It was a miracle to everyone. The rest of the family passed away, but the two kids were alive,” said Wahida Hamdard, Lalmir’s daughter.

Unbelievably, in the days that followed, the news got worse.

“My dad's cousin, my mom's cousin, my uncle’s cousins. They all lived in Gayan District,” said Wahida.

Wahida has learned some 20 homes belonging to her extended family were destroyed.

“I am heartbroken. If we talk about extended family, over 80 members of our extended family passed away in this earthquake. Emotionally, it affects you in a way that you cannot even explain,” said Wahida.

More than 150 members of her extended family were injured. All are now homeless and sleeping outside.

International aid has arrived, but Wahida says her family don’t have the connections to receive the aid.

“Families that have connections … to the Taliban … They have been receiving a lot of assistance compared to the other families,” said Wahida.

Wahida started a Gofundme campaign to raise money for food, medicine, clothing and blankets for her family.

The two children that survived the collapse of their home have been taken in by family.