Hundreds of people are dead, and at least another 2,000 wounded, from a 6.3 magnitude earthquake and multiple aftershocks in western Afghanistan.
(Bloomberg) — Hundreds of people are dead, and at least another 2,000 wounded, from a 6.3 magnitude earthquake and multiple aftershocks in western Afghanistan.
The epicenter of the earthquake was near Herat city, according to the US Geological Survey. It was followed by strong aftershocks, including another one measuring 6.3 half an hour later, it said.
The death toll is 2,445 people, Mullah Janan Shayeq, a spokesman of the State Ministry for Disaster Management, said by phone late Sunday, but he lowered down his earlier figure on wounded people from more than 10,000 to over 2,000, citing a “mistake.”
“The search and rescue operation is still ongoing,” he added. The tremor struck the western provinces of Herat, Nimroz, Badghis and Farah, and small villages in the provinces are the worst affected, complicating rescue and relief efforts.
The United Nations estimated a slightly lower death toll of just over a 1,000 dead.
Earthquakes in Afghanistan and its surrounding regions are common due to interaction between the Arabia, Eurasia and India plates, according to the USGS. Since 1920, seven other earthquakes of magnitude 6 or larger have occurred within 250 km of the Oct. 7 earthquake, all within Iran, it said.
“We request the international community to help us during this difficult time and send their aid,” said Shayeq, adding that hundreds of houses were destroyed by the earthquake.
(Updates with additional details.)
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