The Taliban reported Sunday that more than 2,000 people had been killed after a major earthquake hit western Afghanistan. The country is currently experiencing a severe economic crisis and is also reeling from another earthquake.
The Herat province, a desolate area filled with mud brick dwellings, was the site of the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that occurred on Saturday morning. Villagers are reportedly still searching for the missing, who number more than 500, with shovels and only their bare hands, according to the United Nations.
According to the Taliban’s Zabihullah Mojahid, 2,053 people were killed in the catastrophe, 1,240 were injured, and 1,320 homes were fully or partially damaged. There are worries that the death toll might increase as the search and rescue efforts continue. An earlier UN report had estimated a lower death toll of about 100 people and 500 injuries. According to reports, 135 structures and up to 500 homes were damaged or destroyed, according to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Images from the towns show whole houses crushed to rubble, showing how frail they were to resist such an earthquake. According to the Taliban administration, earthquake victims urgently require food, water, medicine, clothing, and tents for shelter. Help has been sent by a number of humanitarian organizations, including the Afghan Red Cross Society, MSF, the World Food Programme, and Unicef. However, the agencies claim that the poor nation needs greater assistance.
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Since the Taliban took control of the country in 2021 and the direct help to the government was terminated, Afghanistan has been suffering from an economic disaster.