6.3 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Western Afghanistan Following Previous Seismic Event that Resulted in Over 2,000 Fatalities

by Ryan Lee
earthquake aftermath

6.3 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Western Afghanistan Following Previous Seismic Event that Resulted in Over 2,000 Fatalities

A subsequent severe earthquake rattled the western region of Afghanistan on Wednesday morning, following a prior seismic event that resulted in the deaths of more than 2,000 individuals and leveled entire communities in the province of Herat, marking it as one of the most catastrophic earthquakes in recent Afghan history.

According to the United States Geological Survey, the earthquake on Wednesday had a magnitude of 6.3 and was centered approximately 28 kilometers (around 17 miles) away from Herat, the provincial capital, with a depth of about 10 kilometers (approximately 6 miles). Abdul Wahid Rayan, a spokesperson for the Information Ministry, reported that the quake set off a landslide, obstructing the primary Herat-Torghondi highway.

Janan Sayiq, who serves as a spokesperson for the Afghan Taliban government’s national disaster management authority, indicated that the latest earthquake resulted in at least one fatality and approximately 120 injuries.

Doctors Without Borders, or Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), stated that Herat Regional Hospital admitted 117 individuals who sustained injuries during Wednesday’s quake. MSF added that it has dispatched extra medical resources to the hospital and is in the process of establishing four additional medical tents at the facility.

MSF announced on a platform formerly known as Twitter, “Our personnel are engaged in emergency case triage and are overseeing the care of stabilized patients who have been admitted to medical tents.”

The recent earthquake also led to the complete destruction of 700 residences in the village of Chahak, a community that had been spared from the tremors of earlier earthquakes. Fortunately, no fatalities have been reported in Chahak thus far, as residents have sought refuge in temporary tents due to ongoing seismic activities in Herat.

Local inhabitants express profound distress over the obliteration of their homes and livestock, often their sole assets, and are anxious about the impending severe winter season. Many revealed that they had never experienced an earthquake before and questioned when the ground would finally cease to shake.

Many conveyed perpetual anxiety while inside the temporary shelters, fearing imminent geological upheavals.

The Taliban administration disclosed that the earlier seismic events led to more than 2,000 fatalities across Herat province. While they confirmed that thousands had been killed or injured, they did not provide a specific breakdown of casualties.

In the aftermath of Saturday’s calamitous event, little remains in the affected villages aside from rubble and mourning ceremonies. Those who survived are grappling with the loss of multiple family members, and in some instances, volunteers outnumber the living inhabitants as they sift through debris and prepare mass burial sites.

In the village of Naib Rafi, where the previous population numbered around 2,500, virtually no one survived aside from men who were away from home at the time of the quake. These survivors have been laboring tirelessly to create mass graves.

Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the United Nations, pointed out that Zinda Jan district was the area most severely affected by the quake, with death tolls exceeding 1,300 and nearly 500 individuals still missing. He also mentioned that U.N. satellite imagery depicted extensive damage in the district of Injil.

Earthquakes are a frequent occurrence in Afghanistan due to its position near multiple tectonic plate boundaries. The Afghan population is still recovering from previous seismic events, including a magnitude 6.5 earthquake that impacted western Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan in March, as well as a devastating earthquake that struck eastern Afghanistan in June 2022.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the principal spokesperson for the Taliban government, listed several nations that have rendered aid to those affected by the earthquakes in Herat. Iran, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkmenistan have all provided various forms of assistance, including food, medicine, and technical support. Additionally, Kazakhstan has sent a team of 49 technical experts to assist in relief efforts, while Saudi Arabia and China have provided financial aid.

However, humanitarian aid from Pakistan remains pending, as authorities await approval from the Taliban. Relations between the two nations have recently been strained due to Pakistan’s announcement of a deadline for undocumented migrants, which includes 1.7 million Afghans residing in Pakistan without legal status, to exit the country by October 31 or face forced deportation.

This report includes contributions from Faiez in Islamabad and Munir Ahmed, a correspondent with Big Big News, also based in Islamabad.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about earthquake aftermath

What was the magnitude of the earthquake in western Afghanistan?

The earthquake in western Afghanistan had a magnitude of 6.3.

How did the previous earthquake impact Herat province?

The earlier earthquake resulted in the deaths of more than 2,000 people and the destruction of entire villages in Herat province.

Were there any casualties reported from the earthquake on Wednesday?

Yes, at least one person was reported dead, and around 120 others were injured in Wednesday’s earthquake.

How is Doctors Without Borders (MSF) assisting in the aftermath?

MSF has sent additional medical supplies to Herat Regional Hospital and is setting up four more medical tents to aid in emergency care.

What is the condition of Chahak village following the earthquake?

Chahak village saw the complete destruction of all 700 homes. Fortunately, no fatalities were reported in Chahak as residents had sought shelter in tents due to ongoing seismic activity.

How are survivors coping with the aftermath of the earthquakes?

Survivors are facing the loss of homes and livestock and are concerned about the harsh winter months. Many live in fear within the tents, worried about further tremors.

What are the major challenges faced in the affected areas?

The affected areas are grappling with extensive damage, mass burials, and psychological distress among children. The lack of medical facilities and ongoing seismic activity compound the challenges.

Which countries have provided aid to the earthquake-affected regions?

Iran, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan have provided various forms of aid, including medical support, food, and financial assistance. China also contributed $200,000 in cash aid.

Why has the delivery of humanitarian aid from Pakistan been delayed?

The delivery of humanitarian aid from Pakistan has been delayed due to awaiting clearance from the Taliban. Relations between the two countries have been strained recently due to issues related to undocumented migrants.

More about earthquake aftermath

  • USGS Earthquake Information
  • Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Official Website
  • [Taliban Government’s Statements](Provide the official Taliban government website if available)
  • [United Nations Humanitarian Updates](Link to the UN’s humanitarian updates on the situation)
  • [Background on Earthquakes in Afghanistan](Link to relevant information about earthquake frequency in Afghanistan)

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InfoGeek23 October 12, 2023 - 2:15 am

this is tragic. i hope aid comes quick and they get help they need. nature can be so powerful.

GrammarNazi88 October 12, 2023 - 3:49 am

The writing here is good, but some errors in spelling and punctuation. Need proofreading.

EarthquakeExpert55 October 12, 2023 - 11:37 am

no. the magnitde of earthquake is 6.3, it’s bad but not huge. also, we need better earthquaek prepartion.

CuriousGeorge October 12, 2023 - 5:00 pm

How many earthquakes Afghanistan gets? why they have so many? tell more about the region.

Reader123 October 12, 2023 - 6:28 pm

wow, this is a big earthquake. so many dead people, it’s sad. they need aid.


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