Herat, 11 October 2023 (TDI): In a devastating turn of events, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Herat, the capital of Herat province in western Afghanistan, early Wednesday morning.
It is pertinent to note that, just days ago, the area was hit by a series of quakes, resulting in an estimated 1,000 casualties.
Approximately 80 individuals sustained injuries, and a landslide has obstructed the primary Herat-Torghundi highway, according to the Ministry of Information.
At 5:22 AM, a magnitude-6.3 earthquake hit northwestern Afghanistan, with its epicenter located just outside Herat City, the provincial capital and a significant cultural and economic center.
The tremor occurred at a depth of about six miles, as reported by the US Geological Survey. The recent earthquake in Herat City forced residents to flee their homes once again, marking the second evacuation in just five days.
Thousands, still haunted by the previous twin quakes that struck on Saturday, had been sleeping outdoors in tents and makeshift shelters made of blankets and tarps, living in constant fear.
Taliban authorities initially confirmed over 2,400 casualties. Since the weekend, rescue teams tirelessly searched for survivors and bodies among the flattened villages.
Limited infrastructure and reduced foreign aid hinder relief operations in the war-ravaged nation. Doctors Without Borders reported that Herat Regional Hospital received 117 injured individuals from Wednesday’s earthquake.
The organization, also known as MSF, sent extra medical supplies and established four additional medical tents at the facility to enhance the medical response efforts.
The recent earthquake on Wednesday devastated Chahak village, flattening all 700 homes that had previously escaped the tremors.
Fortunately, no casualties have been reported in Chahak, as residents sought refuge in tents due to ongoing tremors in Herat, prioritizing their safety amidst the continued seismic activity.
Distraught villagers mourn the loss of homes and livestock, their sole belongings, fearing the harsh winter ahead.
Many, unaccustomed to earthquakes, express ongoing anxiety, dreading the ground’s tremors and feeling unsafe even inside their tents. Their persistent fear of the earth swallowing them amplifies their distress.