December 2, 2023

ISLAMABAD (AP) — One other 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck a part of western Afghanistan on Sunday after hundreds of individuals died and full villages have been flattened by devastating quakes every week earlier.

The most recent quake was centered about 30 kilometers (19 miles) exterior town of Herat, the capital of Herat province, and was 6 kilometers (4 miles) under the floor, the U.S. Geological Survey mentioned. It’s the fourth quake the USGS has measured at 6.3 magnitude in the identical space in simply over every week.

Help group Save the Kids mentioned 4 folks have died and that Herat Regional Hospital has obtained 153 injured. All the pieces within the Baloch space of Rabat Sangi district has collapsed. A number of villages have been destroyed, based on the help group. Authorities have given decrease casualty numbers.

Sayed Kazim Rafiqi, 42, a Herat metropolis resident, mentioned he had by no means seen such devastation earlier than with the vast majority of homes broken and “folks terrified.” Rafiqi and others headed to the hospital to donate much-needed blood.

“We’ve to assist in any means attainable,” he mentioned.

The preliminary earthquakes on Oct. 7 flattened complete villages in Herat and have been among the many most damaging quakes within the nation’s latest historical past.

Greater than 90% of the folks killed have been ladies and youngsters, U.N. officers reported Thursday. They struck throughout daytime, whereas lots of the males within the area have been working outside.

Taliban officers mentioned the sooner quakes killed greater than 2,000 folks throughout the province. The epicenter was in Zenda Jan district, the place the vast majority of casualties and injury occurred.

The preliminary quake, quite a few aftershocks and a 3rd 6.3-magnitude quake on Wednesday flattened villages, destroying a whole lot of mud-brick houses that might not stand up to such pressure. Colleges, well being clinics and different village amenities additionally collapsed.

In addition to rubble and funerals after that devastation, there was little left of the villages within the area’s dusty hills. Survivors are struggling to return to phrases with the lack of a number of members of the family and in lots of locations, dwelling residents are outnumbered by volunteers who got here to look the particles and dig mass graves.

Earthquakes are widespread in Afghanistan, the place there are a variety of fault strains and frequent motion amongst three close by tectonic plates.