HomeWorld NewsAfghanistan earthquake kills 2,053, Taliban says


An earthquake in Afghanistan has killed more than 2,000 people and injured more than 9,000, the Taliban administration said on Sunday, the deadliest tremor to hit the quake-prone mountainous country in years.

Saturday’s earthquake in the west of the country struck 35 km (20 miles) northwest of the city of Herat, with a magnitude of 6.3, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

They were among the world’s deadliest earthquakes in a year, when earthquakes in Turkey and Syria in February killed an estimated 50,000 people.

Disaster Ministry spokesman Janan Sayek said 2,053 people were killed, 9,240 were injured and 1,320 houses were damaged or destroyed. The death toll rose to more than 500, reported earlier on Sunday by the Red Crescent.

Saiq told a news conference that ten rescue teams were in the area bordering Iran.

More than 200 dead were brought to various hospitals, said a Herat health department official, who identified himself as Dr. Danish, adding that most of them were women and children.

“The bodies have been taken to many places – military bases, hospitals,” Danish said.

Pictures on social media showed beds were set up outside Herat’s main hospital to welcome crowds of victims.

Suhail Shaheen, head of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, said in a message to the media that there is an urgent need for food, drinking water, medicine, clothes and tents for rescue and relief.

Photos on social media show some damage to Herat’s medieval minarets, with cracks visible and tiles falling off.

Surrounded by mountains, Afghanistan has a history of powerful earthquakes, many of which have occurred in the rugged Hindu Kush region bordering Pakistan.

The death toll often rises when reports come in from remote parts of the country, where decades of war have left infrastructure in tatters and made it difficult to conduct relief and rescue operations.

Afghanistan’s healthcare system, which is almost entirely dependent on foreign aid, has faced severe cutbacks in the two years since the Taliban came to power and much international aid, which was the backbone of the economy, was halted. Was.

Diplomats and aid officials say donors are pulling back on financial aid due to concerns about Taliban restrictions on women and competing global humanitarian crises. The Islamist government has ordered most Afghan female aid workers not to work, although health and education are exempted.

In August, a spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross said it might end its financial support for 25 Afghan hospitals due to a lack of funds. It was not immediately clear whether Herat Hospital was on that list.

Resident Naseema said the earthquake spread panic in Herat.

“People left their homes, we are all on the streets,” he wrote in a text message to Reuters on Saturday, adding that the city was feeling the aftershocks.

Herat province has a total of 202 public health facilities, including a major regional hospital where 500 people died, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a report on Sunday.

WHO said most of the facilities are small basic health centers and logistical challenges are hindering operations, especially in remote areas.

“Although search and rescue operations are underway, casualties in these areas have not yet been fully identified,” it said.

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