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 October 8, 2023

Earthquake kills thousands in Afghanistan

An earthquake that has struck Afghanistan has left more than 2,000 people dead, ABC News reports

The earthquake took place on Saturday in western Afghanistan.

The outlet reports:

The initial earthquake struck 40 km west of the city of Herat around 11 a.m. local time, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs [OCHA] in Afghanistan. It was felt in neighboring Badghis and Farah provinces.

The initial earthquake was measured at a magnitude of 6.3. Then, afterward, the same region - particularly the Zenda Jan district in Herat - experienced multiple aftershocks.

The destruction caused by this earthquake is significant.

Initially, the OCHA reported that about 100 people died and 500 more were injured as a result of the earthquake. But, it appears that the actual figures are significantly higher.

CNN reports:

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mojahid put the number killed at 2,053 people, with more 1,240 people hurt and 1,320 houses completely or partially destroyed.

It is believed that the death toll may grow even larger, particularly as rescue efforts continue and more and more victims are recovered from the debris.

But, the more than 2,000 deaths that have been reported, according to ABC, already make this earthquake "one of the deadliest earthquakes to strike the country in two decades."

In addition to the deaths and injuries, there has also been a significant number of displacements caused by the earthquake.

The OCHA reports:

In total, 4,200 people (600 families) are assessed to have been affected to date, including 1,400 IDPs (300 families). Mahal Wadakah is understood to be the worst affected village. Additionally, an estimated 300 families (2,100 people) are reported to have been displaced to Herat City where they are living in abandoned buildings.

ABC reports that "about six villages have been destroyed" by the earthquake. The village of Mahal Wadakah is believed to be the most devastated.

What makes this situation even worse is that this is not the first earthquake to strike Afghanistan recently. CNN reports, "Afghanistan has suffered significant damage from a series of recent earthquakes." The outlet adds that this has all occurred "amid an ongoing dire economic and hunger crises, killing and displacing tens of thousands combined."

The situation is complicated by the fact that the Taliban continues to run the country following President Joe Biden's botched withdrawal of U.S. troops from the region. As a result, the Afghanistan people, in the wake of these natural disasters, have struggled to get the kind of international support that would ordinarily be expected in such situations.

Written By:
Robert Ayers

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