High-ranking Taliban Delegation Visits Earthquake-Afflicted Villages with Death Toll Exceeding 2,000

by Ethan Kim
0 comment
Earthquake in Afghanistan

A top-level delegation of Taliban officials toured the Herat province in western Afghanistan on Monday, following a catastrophic earthquake over the weekend that resulted in the deaths of at least 2,000 individuals and decimated numerous villages, according to an official communiqué.

The seismic event on Saturday, measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, struck a heavily populated region in Herat and was accompanied by powerful aftershocks, making it one of the most lethal earthquakes to affect the nation in the last 20 years.

The Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs in the Taliban administration, Abdul Ghani Baradar, along with his team, is scheduled to visit the affected areas on Monday to facilitate “prompt relief efforts” and ensure the “fair and precise allocation of humanitarian aid,” as per an announcement from Kabul, the capital city.

The tremor also left many trapped under debris, prompting civilians to resort to manual excavation methods, using shovels and bare hands to recover victims—both deceased and survivors. As of Monday, local authorities were yet to release updated casualty figures from Herat.

Related Coverage

  • Frenzied Rescue Efforts in Wake of Afghan Earthquakes with Death Toll Surpassing 2,000
  • Mortality Figures from Intense Seismic Events in Western Afghanistan Exceed 2,000

The U.S. Geological Survey indicated that the earthquake originated approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of Herat, the provincial capital, followed by three substantial aftershocks, with magnitudes of 6.3, 5.9, and 5.5, in addition to minor tremors.

The global response to the calamity in Afghanistan has been sluggish, primarily because the international community is hesitant to interact directly with the Taliban regime and is concurrently preoccupied with escalating violence between Israel and the Palestinians, triggered by an unforeseen attack from Gaza militants on Saturday that has thus far resulted in over 1,100 fatalities and several thousands injured.

Various international aid organizations and NGOs have called for global assistance, but only a select few nations, including neighboring China and Pakistan, have openly pledged their support.

According to a statement by aid organization CARE USA, a member of the CARE International consortium, the earthquake occurred when Afghanistan was already grappling with a critical humanitarian situation, which remains inadequately funded even as needs escalate.

The impending winter season, coupled with this new disaster, is expected to compound the prevailing hardships, making it increasingly challenging for residents to secure fundamental necessities such as adequate housing, food, and medical supplies.

Reshma Azmi, Deputy Director of CARE for Afghanistan, stated, “The catastrophic earthquake in Herat comes less than seven months after another severe quake impacted the country, leaving thousands without homes.”

Azmi was alluding to the 6.5-magnitude earthquake in March, which affected large parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as an earthquake in June 2022 in eastern Afghanistan that killed a minimum of 1,000 people.

World Vision, a global charitable organization, commented, “The situation on the ground is more dire than anticipated, as villagers continue to painstakingly sift through rubble to rescue survivors.”

Reinforcements from Kabul reached the affected region on Sunday, although the area has only one operational government hospital. “Despite dealing with the trauma in their own communities, our teams are doing everything possible to provide immediate assistance,” said Thamindri de Silva, who heads the Afghanistan office of the charity.

Various groups, including military and non-profit organizations, have mobilized to contribute to rescue missions. Irfanullah Sharafzai, spokesperson for the Afghan Red Crescent Society, confirmed that over 20 teams were operational as of Monday, establishing a makeshift camp for those displaced by the disaster.

In neighboring Pakistan, a special governmental session was convened to discuss relief measures for Afghanistan, which include dispatching emergency teams, essential food supplies, medicines, and provision of tents and blankets.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Earthquake in Afghanistan

What is the main subject of the article?

The main subject of the article is the visit of a high-ranking Taliban delegation to Herat province in western Afghanistan, in the aftermath of a devastating 6.3-magnitude earthquake that resulted in at least 2,000 fatalities.

Who is leading the Taliban delegation?

The delegation is led by the Taliban-appointed Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Abdul Ghani Baradar.

What is the primary focus of the delegation’s visit?

The primary focus of the delegation’s visit is to facilitate prompt relief efforts and ensure the fair and precise allocation of humanitarian aid in the earthquake-stricken regions of Herat province.

How has the global community responded to the earthquake?

The global response has been sluggish, primarily due to hesitancy in dealing directly with the Taliban government and other international distractions like the escalation of violence between Israel and the Palestinians.

Which countries have publicly offered support?

Only a handful of countries, including neighboring China and Pakistan, have publicly pledged their support for Afghanistan in this crisis.

What are the challenges facing Afghanistan apart from the earthquake?

Apart from the immediate disaster, Afghanistan is already facing a severe humanitarian crisis that is under-funded. The article also notes that the upcoming winter is expected to worsen the existing challenges.

Are there any aid organizations involved in relief operations?

Yes, various international aid organizations and NGOs are involved, including CARE USA and World Vision. The Afghan Red Crescent Society also has more than 20 teams on the ground.

What is the state of medical facilities in the affected area?

The article mentions that the area affected by the earthquake has only one operational government hospital, making medical care a significant challenge.

Were there any prior seismic events in the region?

Yes, the article refers to a 6.5-magnitude earthquake in March that affected large parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as another earthquake in eastern Afghanistan in June 2022 that killed at least 1,000 people.

More about Earthquake in Afghanistan

  • Earthquake Magnitude Scale
  • Profile of Abdul Ghani Baradar
  • Humanitarian Crisis in Afghanistan
  • CARE USA Statement on Afghanistan Earthquake
  • International Aid and Natural Disasters
  • Global Response to Earthquakes
  • Pakistan’s Role in Afghan Aid
  • U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Information
  • Israel-Palestine Conflict and its Impact on International Response
  • Earthquake Preparedness and Response Guidelines

You may also like

Leave a Comment


BNB – Big Big News is a news portal that offers the latest news from around the world. BNB – Big Big News focuses on providing readers with the most up-to-date information from the U.S. and abroad, covering a wide range of topics, including politics, sports, entertainment, business, health, and more.

Editors' Picks

Latest News

© 2023 BBN – Big Big News