Afghanistan Earthquake: Magnitude-6.3 Earthquake Strikes Afghanistan, Almost 2,000 people killed in powerful earthquakes in Afghanistan’s west

Introduction

Afghanistan Earthquake: In a tragic turn of events, a magnitude-6.3 earthquake, followed by powerful aftershocks, struck western Afghanistan, resulting in significant loss of life and extensive damage to the affected regions. This natural disaster has left communities in despair and underscores the need for urgent assistance and support. In this article, we will delve into the details of this devastating earthquake, its aftermath, and the ongoing efforts to aid the affected populace.

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The Earthquake’s Impact

The earthquake, which originated approximately 40 kilometers northwest of Herat city, sent shockwaves through the region, causing widespread destruction. Here’s a closer look at its impact:

Immediate Casualties

Reports from Afghanistan’s national disaster authority indicate that the initial death toll from the earthquake stood at a staggering 2,060. This grim figure, provided by a Taliban government spokesman, marked this earthquake as one of the deadliest in the country in the past two decades.

Rising Death Toll

As the dust settled, Abdul Wahid Rayan, spokesman at the Ministry of Information and Culture, revealed that the death toll in Herat was even higher than initially reported. Tragically, six villages were obliterated, and hundreds of civilians were trapped beneath the debris, prompting an urgent call for assistance.

Unconfirmed Figures

The United Nations initially estimated the death toll at 320 but later clarified that these figures were still under verification. Local authorities, on the other hand, suggested that approximately 100 people had lost their lives, with 500 more sustaining injuries. This data, reported by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, also highlighted the destruction of 465 houses and damage to 135 more.

Ongoing Search and Rescue

Amid the chaos, disaster authority spokesperson Mohammad Abdullah Jan informed that the Zenda Jan district in Herat province bore the brunt of the earthquake and subsequent aftershocks. Search and rescue efforts were underway, with authorities anticipating a rise in casualties as they continued to unearth survivors from the rubble.

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Aftershocks and Fear

The initial earthquake was followed by a series of powerful aftershocks, with magnitudes of 6.3, 5.9, and 5.5. These tremors only heightened the fear and panic among the affected population. Abdul Shakor Samadi, a resident of Herat city, described the harrowing experience: “All people are out of their homes… Houses, offices, and shops are all empty, and there are fears of more earthquakes.”

Humanitarian Response

The World Health Organization in Afghanistan promptly dispatched 12 ambulance cars to Zenda Jan to evacuate casualties to hospitals. Their efforts were focused on treating the wounded and assessing additional needs. The U.N. agency also utilized social media to keep the public informed of their activities and urged swift action to aid the affected populace.

International Support

Telephone connections in Herat were disrupted, making it challenging to gather information from the affected areas. However, social media platforms revealed videos of hundreds of people congregating in the streets outside their homes and offices in Herat city. This solidarity showcased the resilience of the Afghan people in the face of adversity.

The Taliban’s Call for Assistance

In response to the disaster, the Taliban, Afghanistan’s ruling authority, called upon local organizations to swiftly reach the earthquake-hit areas. Their objectives included transporting the injured to hospitals, providing shelter for the homeless, and delivering essential supplies to survivors. They also appealed to security agencies to mobilize their resources for search and rescue operations.

International Condolences

Japan’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Takashi Okada, expressed his condolences and solidarity on social media. He shared his grief at the news of the earthquake in Herat province, underscoring the global impact of such natural disasters.

Afghanistan Earthquake Conclusion

The magnitude-6.3 earthquake and subsequent aftershocks have left a deep scar on western Afghanistan. The loss of life, destruction of homes, and ongoing rescue efforts highlight the resilience and unity of the Afghan people in times of crisis. As the nation grapples with this tragedy, international support and solidarity remain essential in aiding the affected communities.