More than 2,000 people have lost their lives following a powerful earthquake in western Afghanistan, the Taliban announced on October 8.
The earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 on the Richter scale, struck 25 miles (40 kilometres) west of the city of Herat in the west of Afghanistan on October 7. This is one of the deadliest earthquakes to have struck the country in the past two decades. Initially, the quake was felt in Farah and Badghis Provinces, followed by three powerful aftershocks with magnitudes of 6.3, 5.9, and 5.5, as reported by the United States Geological Survey.
According to the Taliban government’s Ministry of Disasters, a total of 2,053 people have lost their lives, and 9,240 have sustained injuries as a result of the incident. Rescue operations are ongoing, and the casualty figure may rise further, as confirmed by Abdul Wahed Rayan, a Taliban official from the Ministry of Information and Culture, who spoke with CNN on October 8.
The earthquake resulted in the destruction of six villages, with hundreds of citizens trapped under the debris, according to Ryan, as reported by the Associated Press.
Local officials reported that 12 villages in Zinda Jan and Ghoryan districts were entirely destroyed on October 7, as per TOLO News.
The earthquake also led to the destruction of 500 houses and damage to 135 buildings, according to the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The UN agency stated that a total of 4,200 individuals, roughly equivalent to 600 families, have been affected, including 1,400 internally displaced persons.
The earthquake was also felt in neighbouring countries, including Turkmenistan, Iran, and Uzbekistan, according to the USGS.