Tue. May 21st, 2024

A 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck western Afghanistan, resulting in 14 deaths and 78 injuries, with the potential for the toll to increase as reports of people trapped under collapsed buildings emerge. Mohammad Taleb Shahid, the public health director of Herat province, stated that the figures provided were not final and that individuals were still believed to be trapped underneath debris. The United States Geological Survey reported that the epicenter was located 40 kilometers northwest of Herat, with five aftershocks following the initial quake. Residents and shopkeepers evacuated buildings when the shaking began, resulting in 25 injuries and one fatality. Panic ensued as walls and sections of buildings crumbled. The National Disaster Management Authority expressed concern that the count could rise, particularly in rural and mountainous areas where landslides occurred. In the aftermath of the earthquake, crowds gathered on the streets of Herat away from tall structures. According to a preliminary report from the USGS, a significant number of fatalities were anticipated, and the disaster had the potential to affect a large area, potentially necessitating a regional or national-level response. Herat, known as the cultural capital of Afghanistan, is located 120 kilometers east of the Iran border and is home to an estimated 1.9 million people. Afghanistan is prone to earthquakes due to its proximity to the Hindu Kush mountain range, situated at the convergence of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates. The country is already grappling with a severe humanitarian crisis following the Taliban’s return to power in 2021 and the subsequent withdrawal of foreign aid.

By admin