A pair of formidable earthquakes, both measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, struck western Afghanistan on Saturday, resulting in a tragic loss of at least 15 lives and leaving nearly 40 individuals injured, as confirmed by a spokesperson from the country’s national disaster authority, Mohammad Abdullah Jan.
The epicenter of these powerful tremors was reported to be situated 40 kilometers (24.8 miles) northwest of Herat city, according to the United States Geological Survey. These seismic events significantly impacted four villages within the Zenda Jan district of Herat, where residents endured the brunt of the quakes and subsequent aftershocks. The aftermath of this disaster has seen dozens of homes damaged, leaving numerous families in distress.
The USGS also recorded an aftershock with a magnitude of 5.5 in the same region. Additionally, their seismic activity map indicates a series of seven earthquakes in the vicinity, with at least five of them being particularly potent, striking Herat city around noon.
The impact of these tremors prompted widespread panic, as residents swiftly vacated their homes, offices, and shops, with concerns mounting over the possibility of further earthquakes. Communication networks were severely disrupted, complicating efforts to gather detailed information from affected areas. Videos circulating on social media showcased hundreds of people congregating in the streets outside their residences and workplaces in Herat city.
Notably, Herat province shares a border with Iran, and the earthquake’s effects extended to neighboring provinces such as Farah and Badghis, as reported by local media outlets.
Abdul Ghani Baradar, the deputy prime minister for economic affairs appointed by the Taliban, conveyed his condolences to the victims of this tragic event in Herat and Badghis.
It’s worth recalling that in June 2022, a formidable earthquake struck a rugged, mountainous region in eastern Afghanistan, resulting in the destruction of stone and mud-brick homes. This earthquake, one of the deadliest in Afghanistan in the past two decades, claimed the lives of over 1,000 people and left approximately 1,500 individuals injured. The nation continues to grapple with the devastating consequences of seismic activity, highlighting the importance of disaster preparedness and relief efforts in the region.
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