Afghanistan Earthquake Tragedy: Death Toll Surpasses 2,000 with Villages Decimated
On Sunday, October 8th, calamity descended upon the rugged terrains of Afghanistan as the country was rattled by a series of devastating earthquakes, leading to a staggering death toll of over 2,000 individuals. The tremors, described as among the deadliest in recent years, left more than 9,000 wounded, imprinting a narrative of catastrophe in a land already beleaguered by tumult.
The grim tally was disclosed by Mullah Janan Sayeeq, the spokesperson for Afghanistan’s Ministry of Disasters, who informed Reuters about the extensive loss, detailing 2,053 fatalities, 9,240 injured, and 1,329 homes either damaged or completely obliterated.
“Devastating news from Zindajan and Ghorian districts in Herat.
12 villages completely destroyed, with children being the majority of victims. Our hearts go out to the affected families. Praying for the safety of the 1,500 still unaccounted for. #Herat #Afghanistan… pic.twitter.com/MRFSFyGkXR
— Nilofar Ayoubi 🇦🇫 (@NilofarAyoubi) October 7, 2023
The aftershocks of the tremors were felt severely in the province of Herat, where the death toll soared as six villages were reduced to rubble. Abdul Wahid Rayan, from the Ministry of Information and Culture, voiced concerns about hundreds of civilians feared trapped under the debris, highlighting the mounting humanitarian crisis.
I learned with great sadness about the tragic consequences of the earthquake that struck the western provinces (Herat, Farah, and Badghis) of Afghanistan.
I am donating all of my #CWC23 match fees to help the affected people.
Soon, we will be launching a fundraising campaign to… pic.twitter.com/dHAO1IGQlq
— Rashid Khan (@rashidkhan_19) October 8, 2023
#Afghanistan has just been hit by a devastating earthquake, second one in two months, killing and injuring hundreds of people.
Our thoughts are with the families who have lost their loved ones and homes across the Western region. pic.twitter.com/zi9gsx2dSC
— World Food Programme in Afghanistan (@WFP_Afghanistan) October 8, 2023
The epicenter of the seismic activity was identified by the US Geological Survey (USGS) to be 35 km northwest of the city of Herat. Among the series of quakes, one with a magnitude of 6.3 significantly jolted the region on the preceding day, Saturday, October 7th. The USGS recorded seven tremors in total, with two substantial shakes, both of magnitude 6.3, striking close to the city of Herat, further amplifying the local residents’ distress.
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A health department official from Herat, Dr. Danish, conveyed a somber account to Reuters, confirming that over 200 deceased individuals, primarily women and children, had been received by various hospitals. He mentioned the concerted efforts to transport the bodies to military bases and hospitals, painting a bleak picture of the grim aftermath.
Nestled within the seismic belt, Afghanistan, particularly the Hindu Kush mountain range is no stranger to the wrath of tectonic movements. The Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates’ convergence in the region often manifests as tremors, rattling the already fragile framework of the nation. A reminisce of June 2022 unveils a similar tale of despair when a potent earthquake shook the mountainous eastern region, claiming over 1,000 lives and injuring around 1,500 individuals.
The recurring seismic menace not only unveils the geological vulnerability of Afghanistan but also calls for a robust disaster preparedness and response mechanism. Amidst the rubbles and echoes of despair, the resilience of the Afghan populace is put to test once again, as they navigate through the debris of loss towards a flicker of hope and reconstruction.