Afghanistan Rocked By Devastating Quake That Kills Over 2,400
Tremors Centered Near Herat
In a devastating turn of events, Afghanistan was jolted by a series of powerful earthquakes on Saturday, resulting in the loss of over 2,400 lives.
The tremors, centered in the western part of the country near the city of Herat, were among the deadliest quakes witnessed this year. As rescue efforts continue and the nation grapples with the aftermath, the extent of the damage is becoming increasingly clear.
The Tremors and the Toll
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquakes struck approximately 35 km northwest of Herat, with one registering at a magnitude of 6.3. The Taliban administration, in a statement on Sunday, confirmed the grim news, declaring the tremors to be the deadliest experienced by Afghanistan in recent years.
Janan Sayeeq, spokesman for the Ministry of Disasters, shared the latest figures, stating that the death toll had risen to 2,445, while the number of injured had been revised down to "more than 2,000."
Earlier reports had suggested 9,240 people were injured. The Red Crescent had previously reported a death toll of 500, indicating a significant increase in casualties.
The destruction caused by the earthquakes is substantial, with 1,320 houses damaged or destroyed. The city of Herat, which bore the brunt of the disaster, saw a surge in fatalities, primarily among women and children.
Hospitals in the area were inundated w/ith over 200 bodies, prompting authorities to set up makeshift beds outside the main hospital to handle the influx of victims.
The Impact on Infrastructure
Photographs circulating on social media depict the medieval minarets of Herat damaged, with visible cracks and fallen tiles. The historic structures, a symbol of the city's rich cultural heritage, suffered a blow from the powerful tremors.
Afghanistan's Vulnerability to Earthquakes
Nestled amidst the mountainous terrain, Afghanistan has long been prone to earthquakes, particularly in the rugged Hindu Kush region that borders Pakistan. These natural disasters often result in high death tolls, exacerbated by the challenging accessibility of remote areas.
Urgent Relief Efforts
As the nation grapples with the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes, urgent relief efforts are underway. Suhail Shaheen, the head of the Taliban political office in Qatar, emphasized the critical need for food, drinking water, medicine, clothes, and tents to support the rescue and relief operations.
Afghanistan finds itself in the throes of a humanitarian crisis as it mourns the loss of over 2,400 lives in the wake of the deadly earthquakes. The nation's history of seismic activity has once again taken a toll on its people and infrastructure.
With rescue teams working tirelessly to provide aid and support, the international community must rally together to provide the necessary resources to help Afghanistan recover and rebuild in the face of this tragedy.