Hundreds of people killed in earthquakes in western Afghanistan, says UNOctober 7, 2023
Save articles for later
Add articles to your saved list and come back to them any time.
Islamabad: Two magnitude 6.3 earthquakes killed dozens of people in western Afghanistan on Saturday, the country’s national disaster authority said.
The United Nations gave a preliminary figure of 320 dead, but later said the figure was still being verified. Local authorities gave an estimate of 100 people killed and 500 injured, according to the same update from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The latest earthquakes to hit Afghanistan follow a devastating earthquake in the east of the country in June 2022 (pictured).Credit: AP Photo
Mohammad Abdullah Jan said four villages in the Zenda Jan district in Herat province bore the brunt of the quakes and aftershocks. Dozens of houses have been damaged.
The United States Geological Survey recorded the quakes, saying the epicentre was 40 kilometres north-west of Herat city. There was an aftershock with a 5.5 magnitude.
A map on the USGS website indicates seven earthquakes in the area. At least five powerful earthquakes struck the city around noon, Herat city resident Abdul Shakor Samadi said.
“All people are out of their homes,” Samadi said. “Houses, offices and shops are all empty and there are fears of more earthquakes. My family and I were inside our home, I felt the quake.” His family began shouting and ran outside, afraid to return indoors.
The World Health Organisation in Afghanistan said it dispatched 12 ambulance cars to Zenda Jan to evacuate casualties to hospitals.
“As deaths and casualties from the earthquake continue to be reported, teams are in hospitals assisting treatment of wounded and assessing additional needs,” the UN agency said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“WHO-supported ambulances are transporting those affected, most of them women and children.”
Telephone connections went down in Herat, making it hard to get details from affected areas. Videos on social media showed hundreds of people in the streets outside their homes and offices in Herat city.
Herat province borders Iran. The quake also was felt in the nearby Afghan provinces of Farah and Badghis, according to local media reports.
Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban-appointed deputy prime minister for economic affairs, expressed his condolences to the dead and injured in Herat and Badghis.
The Taliban urged local organisations to reach earthquake-hit areas as soon as possible to help take the injured to hospital, provide shelter for the homeless, and deliver food to survivors. They said security agencies should use all their resources and facilities to rescue people trapped under debris.
“We ask our wealthy compatriots to give any possible co-operation and help to our afflicted brothers,” the Taliban said on X.
In June 2022, a powerful earthquake struck a rugged, mountainous region of eastern Afghanistan, flattening stone and mud-brick homes. The quake was Afghanistan’s deadliest in two decades, killing more than 1000 people and injuring another 1500.
Get a note directly from our foreign correspondents on what’s making headlines around the world. Sign up for our weekly What in the World newsletter.
Most Viewed in World
From our partners
Source: Read Full Article