The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday informed that India’s first consignment of earthquake relief assistance reached Kabul, day after a powerful earthquake struck Afghanistan killing over 1,000 people. At least 1,000 people were killed and over 1500 were injured after an earthquake of 6.1 magnitude struck Afghanistan on Wednesday. The quake hit about 44km from the city of Khost on Wednesday.

“First consignment of India’s earthquake relief assistance for the people of Afghanistan reaches Kabul. Being handed over by the Indian team there. Further consignment follows,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi wrote on Twitter. Commenting on the tweet, EAM S Jaishankar said: “India, a true first responder.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that he was deeply saddened at the news of the devastating earthquake in Afghanistan. “My deepest condolences on the loss of precious lives. India stands by the people of Afghanistan in their difficult times and is ready to provide all possible disaster relief material at the earliest,” he said.

The MEA today said that in order to closely monitor and coordinate the efforts of various stakeholders for the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance and in continuation of our engagement with the Afghan people, an Indian technical team has reached Kabul and has been deployed in the Indian Embassy there.

“Recently, another Indian team visited Kabul to oversee the delivery operations of our humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and met with senior members of the Taliban. During the visit, an assessment of the security situation was also carried out,” it said.

“Our longstanding links with Afghan society and our development partnership including humanitarian assistance for the people of Afghanistan, will continue to guide our approach going forward,” the MEA said.