Earthquakes in Afghanistan leave at least 15 dead and 40 injured

By Isaac M October 7, 2023

Earthquakes in Afghanistan have left hundreds of people dead, according to the UN.

Two 6.3-magnitude quakes hit the west of the country on Saturday, according to the US Geological Survey.

The UN gave a preliminary figure of 320 fatalities, but later said the figure was still being verified.

Local authorities estimate 100 people have been killed and 500 injured, according to the same update from the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The epicentre was about 25 miles northwest of the city of Herat and was followed by a 5.5-magnitude aftershock, the USGS reported.

A map on its website indicated there were seven earthquakes in the area.

The figures are based on reports from the Zinda Jan district of Herat province, said Mullah Jan Sayeq from Afghanistan’s ministry of disaster management.

He said the earthquakes had also shaken the provinces of Farah and Badghis, where there are reports of widespread damage to houses, but no details about casualties yet.

Pic: Xinhua/Shutterstock
Afghanistan Herat Earthquake - 07 Oct 2023
Residents come outside to a street after an earthquake rocked the city of Herat, Afghanistan, Oct. 7, 2023. Casualties were feared as an earthquake rocked west Afghanistan's Herat, Badghis, Farah provinces, and adjoining areas on Saturday, locals said.

7 Oct 2023
Image:
The earthquakes have left at least 15 dead. Pic: Xinhua/Shutterstock


Erfanullah Sharafzoi, a spokesperson for the Afghan Red Crescent, said emergency teams and volunteers were preparing to go to Herat to help victims.

Videos posted on social media showed hundreds of people in the streets outside their homes and offices in the city.

Resident Abdul Shakor Samadi said he and his family were inside their home and felt the quake – adding that his relatives began shouting and ran outside and are now afraid to return.

“All people are out of their homes. Houses, offices and shops are all empty and there are fears of more earthquakes.”

Another resident, Naseema, said the multiple tremors had caused panic in Herat, adding: “People left their houses, we all are on the streets.”

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Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban-appointed deputy prime minister for economic affairs, has expressed his condolences to the victims in Herat and Badghis.

In June last year, Afghanistan’s deadliest earthquake in two decades killed at least 1,000 people and injured about 1,500 more.

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