Tragedy Strikes Afghanistan as Deadly Earthquakes Claim Thousands of Lives
Herat, Afghanistan (Capitol Times) – In a devastating turn of events, Afghanistan is reeling from the aftermath of a series of powerful earthquakes that struck the western region of the country, leaving a trail of destruction and despair. The Taliban administration confirmed on Sunday that more than 2,400 people lost their lives in the deadliest tremors to hit the quake-prone nation in years.
The seismic catastrophe occurred on Saturday, 35 km (20 miles) northwest of the city of Herat, with one of the quakes measuring a staggering 6.3 magnitude, as reported by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). These earthquakes now rank among the deadliest in the world this year, following the tragic tremors in Turkey and Syria that claimed an estimated 50,000 lives in February.
Janan Sayeeq, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Disasters, conveyed the grim news to News Agency Reuters, stating that the death toll had risen to 2,445, while more than 2,000 people sustained injuries. Initially, the number of injured was reported as 9,240 but was later revised down. Sayeeq also revealed that 1,320 houses had been damaged or destroyed in the disaster. The Red Crescent had initially reported 500 deaths, indicating the magnitude of the tragedy.
The affected region, which shares a border with Iran, is now a hub of rescue operations. Ten rescue teams are tirelessly working to locate survivors and provide aid, even as the death toll continues to climb. Hospitals in Herat are overwhelmed, with more than 200 bodies brought in for medical examination. Dr. Danish, a health department official in Herat, disclosed that most of the victims were women and children.
Heart-wrenching images circulating on social media depict makeshift beds set up outside the main hospital in Herat, where victims are being treated. The dire situation has prompted urgent appeals for assistance from various quarters. Suhail Shaheen, the head of the Taliban political office in Qatar, issued a plea to the international community, highlighting the urgent need for food, drinking water, medicine, clothes, and tents for rescue and relief efforts.
The catastrophe has not only claimed lives but also shattered communities, leaving thousands without shelter, food, or medical care. As Afghanistan mourns the loss of its citizens, the nation is also united in its determination to aid the survivors and rebuild the affected areas. International assistance and support are crucial in this challenging time, as the resilient people of Afghanistan strive to overcome this tragedy and emerge stronger.