According to the US Geological Survey, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake slammed western Afghanistan on Sunday, adding to the succession of aftershocks that have damaged the region this month.
The center of the earthquake occurred 33 kilometers (20 miles) from Herat city, the headquarters of the western province, and its depth was 6.3 kilometers. This comes after a magnitude 6.3 earthquake on October 7, which was followed by eight violent aftershocks, resulting in over 1,000 deaths and hundreds of injuries in the same area.
With entire villages destroyed and thousands left homeless, the region saw another tremor of equal magnitude, killing one person and wounding 130 others. More than 12,000 individuals have been affected by the earthquake’s aftermath, with UNICEF reporting that more than 90% of the deaths were women and children.
The difficult scenario is aggravated by Afghanistan’s ongoing humanitarian crisis, which has been highlighted by the withdrawal of foreign aid since the Taliban’s return to power in August 2021. The Taliban authorities, who have difficult relations with Western humanitarian agencies, face a huge hurdle in providing large-scale shelter.
In tribal Afghanistan, homes are often built with mud and wooden support poles, with no steel or concrete support. Because of the region’s multi-generational extended family arrangements, earthquakes can have a severe impact on entire villages.
The earthquakes exacerbate Afghanistan’s hardships, emphasizing the critical need for humanitarian help and support for the impacted populace.
We have nothing left. Survivors of the Afghanistan earthquake describe their agony and despair.
Zaher walks quietly across what was once his village, relegated to rubble mounds. He finds his home, or what’s left of it, while standing on top of a sand dune.
We used to call it home here, and you can see how bad it has gotten now, he continued, his voice cracking. Clearly, our current predicament is visible.
He confesses that the catastrophic earthquake that hit Afghanistan on October 7 had taken apart more than just his family’s home.
Thirteen members of his family died, he claimed. Girls, old, young, and boys, including two sons, three of my daughters, my two granddaughters and two grandsons, a visiting grandchild, and my cousin and her daughter and son
You are watching our predicament. We have nothing left. These ruins were once our homes, carpets, food, and everything else. I now sleep and stand on stones and hard ground.
It has been more than a week since a devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Afghanistan’s western Herat province and Herat city, the country’s third largest, on October 7.
It is one of the strongest earthquakes to strike Afghanistan in recent years. Over the last week, regular aftershocks have continued, raising survivors’ anxieties that badly destroyed houses could collapse at any moment.
Afghanistan Govt. after Earthquake
According to Mawlawi Mutiul Haq Khales of the Afghan Red Crescent Society, the situation in Afghanistan was already severe. Just as people were beginning to recover, a second wave of massive earthquakes struck us, all within less than a week. Furthermore, winter is approaching, and there is a dire requirement for shelter, food, and healthcare.
Early observations highlight the magnitude of the harm that has yet to be realized. (Our) contributions in this calamitous scenario cannot be exaggerated.
According to UN agencies and local officials, Taliban government officials believe that over 2,000 people have died in Herat province, with more than 90% of those dead being women and children.
According to Too Young to Wed, a US charity that is part of the humanitarian relief operation on the ground, there is an obvious reason for this startling statistic.
It’s because, under Taliban control, women and girls are compelled to stay at home, denied basic rights, and barred from school, jobs, and participation in society.
Rana, a 32-year-old mother of three girls, is from the same district. Her 6-year-old daughter died. Her surviving daughters, ages 8 and 10, were severely injured when a roof collapsed on them.
The family now has nowhere to go and is in severe need of shelter. When the earthquake happened, I was sitting at home. Rana explained I pulled my children out of the house.
One of my children has gone blind. She also stated that another daughter had a leg injury. “Please, someone assist us in finding a plot of land or a place to stay.