On Saturday, 7th October 2023, the Afghanistan city of Herat was hit with multiple quakes and tremors in the northwestern region of the city. The strongest quake being the one with a magnitude of 6.3, also had majorly severe aftershocks.
The 6.3 magnitude quake :
On Sunday, a Taliban spokesperson stated that the death toll from the earthquakes has risen to over 2,000. The number of injured people was stated to be more than 9,000. The earthquake is among the most deadly and lethal earthquakes to afflict the country in two decades.
Abdul Wahid Rayan, spokesman at the Ministry of Information and Culture, stated that the number of casualties from the 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Herat is higher than the number originally reported. About six villages in the region have been reported to be destroyed, and hundreds of civilians have been engulfed and buried under the debris caused by the tremors. Moreover, he also called for urgent help.
Over 200 dead people had been brought to different hospitals, as reported to Reuters by a Herat health department official – Dr Danish. He added that most of the dead were women and children. Danish said that bodies had been taken to several places, including military bases and hospitals.
The quake’s epicentre was about 40 kilometres ( 25 miles ) northwest of the city of Herat, according to the United States Geological Survey. The earthquake was followed by three very powerful aftershocks, with magnitudes of 6.3, 5.9 and 5.5, along with numerous lesser shocks as well.
Aid by the World Health Organization :
The World Health Organization in Afghanistan reported that it has dispatched 12 ambulance cars to Zenda Jan in order to evacuate casualties to hospitals. The United Nations’ Agency took to X ( formerly Twitter ) to inform that their teams are in hospitals to assist in treating the wounded and injured, along with aid for additional needs. The agency further added that “WHO-supported ambulances are transporting those affected, most of them women and children.”
It has also become hard to obtain details from the quake affected areas, as telephone connections have gone down in Herat due to the damage caused by the earthquakes. Some video footage on social media show hundreds of civilians out of their homes and buildings and upon the streets in Herat city.