UN readies for possible cholera outbreak after Afghanistan earthquake

A Taliban helicopter takes off after bringing aid to the site of an earthquake in Gayan
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GENEVA (Reuters) - The U.N. humanitarian office (OCHA) said preparations were underway to avoid a cholera outbreak in Afghanistan after Wednesday's earthquake, saying that half a million cases of acute, watery diarrhoea had already been reported.

"Cholera outbreaks in the aftermath of earthquakes are of particular and serious concern," OCHA said in a statement on Thursday. "Preparations to avoid an outbreak are underway."

OCHA also said that it was seeking to confirm that search and rescue operations were nearly finished, after Taliban authorities indicated late on Wednesday that they were 90% completed.

(Reporting by Emma Farge; editing by John Stonestreet)