Devastating Earthquakes Hit Afghanistan

Devastating Earthquake Hits Afghanistan

( – On Saturday, October 7, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake shook Afghanistan. The quake’s epicenter struck Herat, a province with a barren landscape where villagers live in homes made of mud brick. Some villages were completely obliterated, according to Taliban officials, and more than 2,000 people were killed. Many are still missing, days after the tragedy struck, and people are still continuing rescue and recovery efforts.

Rescue Efforts

Days after the earthquake, amid aftershocks that continued to wrack the region, many volunteers were tirelessly working to dig through the rubble in hopes of finding people buried alive. It is not clear yet exactly how many people have died in the tragedy, but on October 8, a Taliban spokesperson placed the death toll at 2,445.

A bulldozer worked to clear land in Zinda Jan to create a row of graves, a task that is having an emotional impact on the area’s residents. Mir Agha is from Herat and, according to AP News, expressed the difficulty in “find[ing] a family member from a destroyed house and a few minutes later” burying them.

One village, Naib Rafi, which was reported to have 2,500 residents, is gone. The United Nations said the worst-affected area was Zinda Jan, where nearly 1,300 people died, and hundreds more were injured or missing.

Health official Muhammad Talib Shahid said there were hundreds of people hospitalized, which was pushing the system, which isn’t used to this type of tragedy, to collapse.

Humanitarian Aid

According to The Associated Press, Taliban officials said that close to 2,000 homes were destroyed throughout 20 villages. There is only one hospital in the region, and making matters worse, people are wary of working with the government, slowing down foreign aid. However, Pakistan has offered assistance in the form of medications, tents, and blankets, and China reportedly has offered to send humanitarian assistance and cash. Taliban officials have not revealed how much aid they’ve received.

The International Federation of Red Cross issued a statement asking people not to turn away from the nation as the people are in serious need.

Taliban Response

AP News reported that Abdul Ghani Baradar, the deputy prime minister for economic affairs appointed by the Taliban, visited the regions affected by the earthquake on Monday and delivered “immediate relief assistance” and to oversee the “equitable and accurate distribution of aid.”

There have been several other devastating events this year, including the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked Turkey and Syria in February and the 6.8-magnitude shock that took Morocco by surprise in September.

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