Afghanistan rocked by another strong earthquake

World Wednesday 11/October/2023 17:14 PM
By: DW
Afghanistan rocked by another strong earthquake

Herat: A strong, 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit Afghanistan's Herat province on Wednesday just a few days after an earlier quake in the same northwestern region of the country had killed more than 1,000 people.

Wednesday's earthquake occurred early morning at a shallow depth of 9.6 kilometres (6 miles) with its epicenter about 29 kilometers north of Herat, according to the US Geological Survey.

The strong tremors forced authorities again to deploy emergency services and rescue teams. At least 80 people were injured in Wednesday's earthquake.

The latest quake led to a landslide that has blocked the main Herat-Torghondi highway, Information Ministry spokesman Abdul Wahid Rayan said.

In Chahak village, at least 700 houses have turned to rubble. Official data on casualties due to the latest earthquake was not available immediately.

"Mobile medical teams and officials have been working together and have transferred several injured people to hospital," Herat's governor's office said in a statement.

The series of deadly earthquakes has left Afghanistan's population reeling from acute humanitarian crises.

Afghanistan's Taliban-run government has said that at least 2,400 people were killed and more than 2,000 were injured when repeated tremors rocked Herat on Saturday.

Afghan Public Health Minister Qalandar Ebad on Wednesday lowered the toll to around 1,000, attributing the confusion to the remoteness of the area and double reporting by agencies involved in the rescue effort.

Saturday's quake destroyed at least 11 villages in Herat province's Zenda Jan district, according to the UN.

Local media reported that residents in Herat, fearing more earthquakes, have resorted to sleeping in tents at night.

Severe earthquakes are common in Afghanistan, however, Saturday's earthquake was the worst to hit the war-torn country in 25 years.
EU, UN pledge aid to Afghanistan

The Taliban is facing a big challenge in providing emergency shelter and relief to the survivors of the earthquake.

The European Union has pledged 3.5 million euros ($3.71 million) in emergency humanitarian aid funding. The aid package adds to the 2.5 million euros that are for organizations already carrying out relief work on the ground.

The new funding aid is in addition to the 89 million euros already allocated for humanitarian organizations in Afghanistan, the EU said in a statement.

The UN humanitarian coordinator is also going to provide a $5 million emergency reserve allocation from the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund (AHF).

Pakistan, Iran and China have agreed to send relief items such as food, blankets, medicines, tents and funds. Turkey, Iran and Abu Dhabi has also pledged to provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.