Days after deadly quakes Afghanistan is hit by another strong earthquake. Herat City was shaken by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake near the epicenter of two devastating quakes that claimed over a thousand people over the weekend.
Early Wednesday morning, a powerful earthquake struck Herat Province in Afghanistan, close to the border with Iran. This occurred days after two significant quakes in the same region claimed the lives of over a thousand people.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck northwestern Afghanistan at 5:22 a.m. at a depth of approximately six miles. Located near the epicenter was Herat City, the provincial capital and a significant cultural and economic center of the nation.
One fatality and at least 120 injuries were attributed to the Wednesday earthquake, according to Dr. Mohammad Asif Kabir, the chairman of the emergency health committee for Herat Province. The district most severely impacted on Saturday, Herat City and Zinda Jan, supplied most of those injured.
The most recent earthquake caused individuals in Herat City to evacuate their residences for the second time within five days. Thousands more had already been residing in tents or improvised shelters constructed from tarps and blankets, enduring the terror of the two magnitude-eighth tremors that struck the region on Saturday.
“I realized it was another earthquake when my body began to tremble,” said Nadar, 52, who went by one name and had been resting in his yard. “All those who were sleeping outdoors were yelling and screaming.”
A group of New York Times journalists perceived the Arg Hotel’s walls and structure swaying violently. As attendees fled the premises, the luminosity of the corridor diminished, eventually disappearing entirely. As the seismic activity decreased, the concrete walls’ segments fractured, and ceiling sections in certain chambers fell to the ground.
Doctor Mohammad Reza of Herat had been slumbering in his residence, awaiting the cessation of the aftershocks caused by the earthquakes that occurred on Saturday.
“I believed everything had ended,” stated Mr. Reza, age 28. Upon awakening to the sound of the walls trembling, he dashed barefoot from the residence, traversing the yard and out to the alleyway beyond.
“I was terrified and astounded; I am currently dizzy and vomiting,” he continued.
The Saturday quakes, which measured 6.3 magnitudes, resulted in the collapse of mud-brick dwellings across multiple districts. An excess of seven tremors ensued. There was cause for optimism regarding the potential devastation caused by the Wednesday earthquake. Many individuals were dozing outside of Herat City’s predominantly concrete structures, unlike the districts that experienced the most severe destruction on Saturday, which were constructed with mudbrick.
However, the ancient architectural ruins of the once-medieval Islamic cultural epicenter home to poets, scholars, and artisans were not spared the devastation caused by the earthquake.
The earthquake caused partial damage to the summit of one of the five remaining minarets at the Musalla of Gawhar Shah, an Islamic religious complex constructed in the 15th century, according to Farid Ahmad Ayoubi, the director of information for Herat Province. He added that the Great Mosque of Herat, one of the earliest mosques in the region and a renowned example of Islamic architecture distinguished by its brilliant blue minarets, was also damaged.
Ambulances transporting dozens of injured individuals rushed in and out of the gate of the regional public hospital in Herat on Wednesday morning.
Dozens of physicians and nurses gathered at a makeshift triage station outside the intensive care unit, directing ambulances as each new surge of patients arrived. As their loved ones were treated, they bandaged bloodied limbs and arms, positioned IV stands made of rickety metal, and attempted to soothe terrified individuals who were sobbing.
An individual clad in an orange salwar kameez, a traditional loose-fitting garment covered in grime, transported a young boy to the triage station, where he was placed on the pavement. Following the initial seismic event on Saturday morning, they embarked in an Army Ranger vehicle from Nawabad village, situated on the periphery of Herat.
The boy’s father cried and shrieked as medical professionals inserted an intravenous line into the child.
He sobbed, “There’s nothing left!” before imploring hospital personnel to allow him to search the morgue for other missing family members in connection with the devastating weekend event that destroyed homes in his village.
“Purely,” he pleaded. “Allow me to examine the deceased individuals.”
The Wednesday earthquake served as a distressing reminder to numerous inhabitants of Herat of the enduring unease that has engulfed the city since its epicenter last weekend.
Dozens of individuals were supine within improvised tents they had erected from rags, rugs, and string along the verdant median of a downtown thoroughfare. Many individuals had sought refuge there since Saturday, apprehensive of the repercussions that had swept through the city.
On Saturday afternoon, Mohammadi Yasin, 22, established his campsite alongside his siblings and other relatives by the guidance provided by his neighbors, who cautioned of potential aftershocks following the initial seismic events.
“Although it’s not the most secure location, it’s the only one we could locate,” said Mr. Yasin, accompanied by his 11-month-old nephew, who was sound asleep in the tree’s shadow. “We were unable to stay in alleys outside our house because of the proximity of tall buildings; we were concerned that they might collapse,” he explained. “We do not have a yard.”
Tuesday night, his family returned to their nearby two-story residence, believing the crisis to have been resolved. Then, in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, they were startled awake by the violent shaking of the ground beneath them. As they escaped the house for the alleyway, his two sisters shrieked in terror, their drinking glasses tossing from the kitchen shelves and crashing to the ground.
He stated that his family intends to remain on the median for at least one week.
He stated, “We do not feel safe; earthquakes are occurring all around us.” “This may occur again.”