The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Herat earthquake-affected families need urgent assistance

People search for survivors amidst the debris of a house that was destroyed by an earthquake in the district of Zendeh Jan, in Herat, Afghanistan, October 8, 2023. REUTERS/Stringer

Herat, Badghis and Farah provinces have witnessed successive earthquakes, resulting in martyring and wounding thousands of our compatriots. Based on information from local authorities, the center of this earthquake was Herat’s Zindajan district, where the residents suffered the most. On Saturday morning, powerful earthquakes martyred at least 2,000 people in western Herat province. It’s one of the deadliest earthquakes to strike the country in two decades. The magnitude-6.3 earthquake was followed by strong aftershocks on Saturday, a spokesperson for the country’s national disaster management authority said. The United States Geological Survey said the quake’s epicenter was about 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of Herat city. It was followed by three very strong aftershocks, measuring magnitude 6.3, 5.9 and 5.5, as well as lesser shocks. On Sunday, people and local authorities attempted to dig out the dead and injured with their hands in Herat, clambering over rocks and debris. Survivors and victims were trapped under buildings that had crumbled to the ground, their faces grey with dust. Abdul Wahid Rayan, a spokesman at the Ministry of Information and Culture, said Sunday the death toll is higher than originally reported. Villages have been destroyed, and hundreds of civilians are buried under the debris, he said while calling for urgent help. “Besides the 2,060 dead, 1,240 people are injured and 1,320 houses are completely destroyed,” said Rayan. At least a dozen teams have been scrambled to help with rescue efforts, including from the military and non-profit organizations like the Red Crescent Society. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has set up five medical tents at Herat Regional Hospital to accommodate up to 80 patients. Authorities have treated more than 300 patients, according to the agency. Other international organizations have also started to reach and respond to the situation by providing medicines and any other necessary to Herat Regional Hospital. Afghanistan national cricket player Rashid Khan also expressed sadness over the incident and said he was donating all his cricket World Cup fees to help Herat’s earthquake survivors. “Soon, we will be launching a fundraising campaign to call upon those who can support the people in need,” he told his 1.9 million followers on X, formerly known as Twitter. Thousands of families need urgent assistance following the deadly earthquake in the country. All national traders, investors, charities and government officials are asked to provide first aid to the earthquake victims as soon as possible. Meanwhile, all the people particularly local residents in the two provinces are asked to travel to the affected districts to help and save those who are still under ruined homes. The local authorities are asked to provide ground for the rescue teams in the earthquake-affected areas. In June 2022, a powerful earthquake struck a rugged, mountainous region of eastern Afghanistan, flattening stone and mud-brick homes. The quake martyred at least 1,000 people and injured about 1,500. S.Raqib

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.