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Western Afghanistan Shaken by 6.4 Magnitude Earthquake

On Sunday, a shallow 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck western Afghanistan, the latest in a series of tremors that have devastated the region.

Western Afghanistan was struck by a shallow 6.4 magnitude earthquake on Sunday, marking the latest in a series of tremors that have devastated the region. 

These earthquakes have flattened entire villages and caused the loss of over 1,000 lives in recent weeks.

Epicenter and Aftershocks:

The 6.4 magnitude earthquake occurred at 0336 GMT and was centered 33 kilometers (20 miles) from Herat City, the capital of the western province of Herat. Just 20 minutes later, a 5.5 magnitude aftershock was reported in the same area.

Previous Quakes and Aftershocks:

On October 7, another powerful 6.3 magnitude earthquake and a series of significant aftershocks hit the same region, destroying many rural homes and causing over 1,000 fatalities and hundreds of injuries.

Tragically, more than 90 percent of those killed in these quakes were women and children, according to UNICEF. 

Women and children are particularly vulnerable as they are often at home, caring for the household and children when these natural disasters occur.

Widespread Devastation:

Multiple villages, particularly in the rural Zenda Jan district, have been destroyed, leaving over 12,000 people affected by the ongoing tremors. Many residents fear further aftershocks, especially around the ruins of homes where entire families were lost.

Providing shelter and aid on a large scale is a significant challenge for the Taliban authorities, who came to power in Afghanistan in August 2021. 

Their strained relations with international aid organizations further complicate the situation.

Housing and Vulnerable Infrastructure:

Most homes in rural Afghanistan are constructed from mud with wooden support poles, lacking steel or concrete reinforcement. 

Multi-generational extended families typically live under the same roof, making them susceptible to significant damage during earthquakes.

Ongoing Humanitarian Crisis:

These earthquakes add to Afghanistan’s dire humanitarian crisis, as foreign aid withdrawal following the Taliban’s resurgence has left the country grappling with immense challenges regarding food security, healthcare, and basic needs.

The situation in western Afghanistan is dire, and a coordinated effort is needed to provide immediate relief and support to those affected by these devastating earthquakes.

Get all the latest update on UAE Times Now

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