Magnitude 6.3 earthquake shakes west Afghanistan a week after devastating quakes hit same region

A powerful 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck western Afghanistan on Sunday, just over a week after strong quakes and aftershocks killed thousands of people and flattened entire villages

October 15, 2023 11:30 am | Updated 12:33 pm IST - ISLAMABAD

Afghan girls and women carry donated aid to their tents, while they are scared and crying from the fierce sandstorm, after an earthquake in Zenda Jan district in Herat province, western of Afghanistan, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023. A powerful 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck western Afghanistan on October 15.

Afghan girls and women carry donated aid to their tents, while they are scared and crying from the fierce sandstorm, after an earthquake in Zenda Jan district in Herat province, western of Afghanistan, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023. A powerful 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck western Afghanistan on October 15. | Photo Credit: AP

A powerful 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck western Afghanistan on October 15, just over a week after strong quakes and aftershocks killed thousands of people and flattened entire villages in the same region.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the latest quake's epicentre was about 34 kilometres (21 miles) outside Herat, the provincial capital, and eight kilometers (five miles) below the surface.

There were no immediate official reports of possible casualties or damage.

The earthquakes on October 7 flattened whole villages in Herat, in one of the most destructive quakes in the country’s recent history.

More than 90% of the people killed a week ago were women and children, U.N. officials reported on Thursday.

Taliban officials said the earlier quakes killed more than 2,000 people across the province. The epicentre was in Zenda Jan district, where 1,294 people died, 1,688 were injured and every home was destroyed, according to U.N. figures.

The initial quake, numerous aftershocks and a second 6.3-magnitude quake on October 11 flattened villages, destroying hundreds of mud-brick homes that could not withstand such force. Schools, health clinics and other village facilities also collapsed.

Besides rubble and funerals after that devastation, there was little left of the villages in the region’s dusty hills. Survivors are struggling to come to terms with the loss of multiple family members and in many places, living residents are outnumbered by volunteers who came to search the debris and dig mass graves.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.