A devastating earthquake has struck western Afghanistan, the second in two months, killing and injuring hundreds of people. The death toll has risen to over 2,000, according to senior Taliban officials.
The powerful quake, with a magnitude of 6.3, has unleashed widespread destruction and sparked urgent rescue efforts in the Herat province. The tragedy marks one of the deadliest earthquakes the country has experienced in two decades.
The quake struck the Zendeh Jan district in Herat province, toppling buildings, and leaving survivors and victims buried beneath the debris. One heart-wrenching video circulating online shows the miraculous rescue of a baby girl from a collapsed building.
The Quake and Its Aftermath:
Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban spokesperson based in Qatar, reported that the situation is dire, with many people missing and trapped under the rubble.
Abdul Wahid Rayan, spokesman at the Ministry of Information and Culture, provided grim statistics, stating that at least 2,060 individuals have lost their lives, 1,240 are injured, and 1,320 houses have been completely destroyed.
The destruction has affected around six villages, and hundreds of civilians remain trapped.
Urgent Pleas for Assistance:
The scale of the disaster has overwhelmed local rescue teams, who lack proper training and modern equipment.
Numerous teams, including military and nonprofit organizations like the Red Crescent, have mobilized to assist with rescue efforts.
Al Jazeera reports that the United Nations agencies, including the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the World Health Organization (WHO), have dispatched ambulances with medical personnel and set up medical and humanitarian tents in the affected areas to treat the injured and support the victims.
Widespread Fear and Uncertainty:
Residents in Herat city are living in fear as aftershocks continue to rattle the region. The US Geological Survey reported multiple aftershocks, compounding the anxiety in the region.