Earthquake In Afghanistan: In Afghanistan, the death toll from strong earthquakes rose to 2,000 said a Taliban spokesperson today.
It was one of the deadliest earthquakes to strike the country in two decades. According to local authorities, the number of casualties will increase as search and rescue efforts continue amid reports that some people may be trapped under collapsed buildings.
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said at least 465 houses had been reported destroyed and 135 were damaged. Telephone connections went down in Herat, making it hard to get details from affected areas.
Meanwhile, the Taliban urged local organizations to reach earthquake-hit areas as soon as possible to help take the injured to hospital, provide shelter for the homeless, and deliver food to survivors.
The World Health Organisation said WHO-supported ambulances are transporting those affected, most of them women and children. The 6.3 magnitude quake struck about 40km from the western city of Herat yesterday. Many buildings were damaged, trapping people under rubble and there were at least three powerful aftershocks.
Video footage from Herat Central Hospital showed numerous casualties linked up to portable intravenous drips being treated on the tarmac outside the main building.
Herat is located 120km (75 miles) east of the border with Iran and is considered to be the cultural capital of Afghanistan. An estimated 1.9 million people are believed to be living in the province, according to 2019 World Bank data.
Afghanistan is frequently hit by earthquakes – especially in the Hindu Kush mountain range as it lies near the junction of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates. In June last year, the province of Paktika was hit by a 5.9 magnitude quake which killed more than 1,000 people and left tens of thousands homeless.