Another earthquake struck western Afghanistan, only days after two significant seismic events in the same area claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people. This new quake, measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, occurred at approximately 05:10 local time (00:40 GMT) on Wednesday, 28 kilometres (about 17 miles) north of Herat.
Health officials have reported that more than 100 individuals have been injured and have been admitted to local hospitals. The full extent of the damage is currently uncertain, but a considerable number of people were forced to sleep outdoors as their homes were destroyed during the previous earthquake on Saturday.
Aid agencies have expressed concerns about a shortage of essential supplies, such as blankets and food. The earthquake that struck on Saturday morning affected Zindajan, a rural district located about 40 kilometres from Herat. Visual documentation from the affected villages depicts entire houses, too fragile to withstand the tremors, reduced to rubble.
Afghanistan is prone to frequent earthquakes, particularly in the Hindu Kush mountain range, given its proximity to the convergence of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.
Reports regarding the number of casualties vary, with Public Health Minister Qalandar Ebad informing the AFP news agency that at least one person had lost their lives. An earthquake committee spokesperson, as reported by Al Jazeera’s Mohsin Khan in Kabul, indicated that there were at least 120 individuals injured.
The office of Herat’s governor stated that there have been “significant losses” in districts near the areas previously affected by the recent earthquakes. Notably, a landslide has injured at least 80 individuals and blocked the primary Herat-Torghundi highway, as reported by the Associated Press, quoting Ministry of Information spokesperson Abdul Wahid Rayan.
Furthermore, the quake has completely levelled all 700 homes in Chahak village, which had remained unaffected by the earthquake on Saturday and its ensuing aftershocks, as per the AP’s report.