Home Top Stories Earthquake shakes Afghanistan where earlier quake killed over 2,000

Earthquake shakes Afghanistan where earlier quake killed over 2,000

Earthquake shakes Afghanistan where earlier quake killed over 2,000


CHAHAK, Afghanistan — Another strong earthquake shook part of western Afghanistan on Wednesday morning after an earlier quake killed more than 2,000 and flattened whole villages.

The latest magnitude 6.3 earthquake was about 17 miles outside Herat, the capital of Herat province, and 6 miles deep, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Wednesday’s quake has injured at least 80 people and a landslide has blocked the main Herat-Torghondi highway, Information Ministry spokesman Abdul Wahid Rayan said.

It also flattened all 700 homes in Chahak village, which was untouched by the tremors of previous days. There are mounds of soil where dwellings used to be. But there were no deaths initially reported in Chahak because people have taken shelter in tents this week, fearing for their lives as tremors continue to rock Herat.

Villagers are distraught over the loss of their homes and livestock, often their only possessions, and worry about the coming harsh winter months. Some said they had never seen an earthquake before and wondered when the shaking of the ground would stop.

Many said they have no peace of mind inside the tents for fear the “ground will open and swallow us at any moment.”

The epicenter of Saturday’s quake was about 25 miles northwest of the provincial capital, and several aftershocks have been strong, including another of magnitude 6.3 on Saturday.

Taliban officials said more than 2,000 had died across Herat after the earlier quakes. They subsequently said the quakes killed and injured thousands but did not give a breakdown of casualties.

Besides rubble and funerals after Saturday’s devastation, there is little left of the villages in the region’s dusty hills.

In Naib Rafi, a village that previously had about 2,500 residents, people said almost no one was still alive besides men who were working outside when the quake struck. Survivors worked all day with excavators to dig long trenches for mass burials.

On a barren field in the district of Zinda Jan, a bulldozer removed mounds of earth to clear space for a long row of graves.

“It is very difficult to find a family member from a destroyed house and a few minutes to later bury him or her in a nearby grave, again under the ground,” said Mir Agha, from the city of Herat, who had joined hundreds of volunteers to help the locals.


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