Online Desk: The death toll from Saturday’s powerful earthquake in western Afghanistan has risen to 2,000. This made it one of the deadliest earthquakes to hit the country in the last two decades. On Sunday (October 8), the news agency AP reported this information about a spokesperson of the Taliban administration.
This 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the western part of the country at around 11 o’clock local time on Saturday (October 7).
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the epicenter of the earthquake was 40 kilometers northwest of Herat city. Four more aftershocks then hit the area. On the Richter scale they were 5.5, 4.7, 6.3 and 5.9 respectively.
Abdul Waheed Ryan, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture, told AP that the death toll from the Herat earthquake was much higher than initially reported.
As many as six villages have been destroyed and hundreds of civilians buried under the rubble, he said, calling for urgent aid.
Initially, it was reported from the Afghan Ministry of Defense that hundreds of people lost their lives in this earthquake. More than 500 people were injured.
A report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs indicated that the death toll from the earthquake could be as high as 320.
But an Afghan government official named Bilal Karimi told AFP on Sunday that, “unfortunately, the number of casualties is very high… More than 1,000 people have died.”
But every source cited expressed fears that the number of casualties could rise further.
Herat is located 120 km east of Iran border. The city is called the cultural capital of Afghanistan. About 19 million people live there.
Last June, more than 1,000 people lost their lives in an earthquake measuring 5.9 in the Paktika province of the country.