Afghanistan Earthquakes Death Toll Mounts To 2,000

‘1,328 houses were flattened after eight powerful aftershocks from the magnitude 6.3 earthquake shook the region 30 kilometers northwest of Herat and terrified city people to flee into the streets’

Afghanistan Earthquakes Death Toll Mounts To 2,000

Violent earthquakes that shook Afghanistan late on Saturday have resulted in up to 2,053 fatalities and 9,240 injuries, a government spokesperson confirmed to Reuters on Sunday.

As rescue efforts continue in the impacted areas, the 120 earthquake fatalities that were already recorded are certain to increase.

As the scope of the destruction became obvious early on Sunday, deputy government spokesperson Bilal Karimi remarked, "Unfortunately, the casualties are practically very high."

A total of eight strong aftershocks from the magnitude 6.3 earthquake that jolted the area 30 kilometers northwest of Herat and panicked city dwellers into running into the streets also caused 1,328 houses to collapse.

The chief of Herat's disaster management, Mosa Ashari, stated that as of late Saturday, "about 120" fatalities had been confirmed, along with "more than 1,000 injured women, children, and senior citizens."

The National Disaster Authority expects the death toll "to rise very high," according to a spokesperson.

Numerous houses were leveled as darkness fell in Sarboland hamlet in Zinda Jan district, close to the center of the earthquakes, which jolted the region for more than five hours, according to the AFP.

As women and children waited in the open as personal possessions from burned homes flailed in the brisk wind, men dug among mounds of crumbling debris.

According to Reuters, a government official stated that 1,329 dwellings were damaged throughout the impacted districts.

According to AFP, the World Health Organisation (WHO) claimed that 4,200 people in at least 12 communities in Herat province had more than 600 homes completely or partially destroyed.

Local resident Bashir Ahmad, 42, claimed that all of the houses fell during the initial shaking. "Those who were inside the houses were buried," he stated. "There are families we have heard no news from."

The number of casualties "is expected to rise as search and rescue operations are ongoing," the WHO stated late on Saturday.

When the first earthquake was felt in Herat city, inhabitants fled their houses, and schools, hospitals, and workplaces were also evacuated. However, there were minimal reports of injuries in the urban region.

After the Taliban retakes control of Afghanistan in 2021, there will be a severe humanitarian catastrophe due to the widespread withdrawal of Western aid.

A severe drought has badly damaged the 1.9 million-person Herat region, which is located on Iran's border and is home to numerous agricultural towns.

Earthquakes often occur in Afghanistan, especially in the Hindu Kush mountain region. The worst earthquake in Afghanistan in over 25 years struck the poor region of Paktika in June, killing over 1,000 people and displacing tens of thousands.