Sunday, December 3, 2023

Afghanistan earthquakes: Death toll crosses 2,000

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The death toll from strong earthquakes that shook western Afghanistan has risen to 2060, a Taliban government spokesman said Sunday.

It’s one of the deadliest earthquakes to strike the country in two decades.

On Saturday, dozens of lives were tragically claimed in western Afghanistan as a powerful magnitude-6.3 earthquake struck, followed by relentless aftershocks, as reported by the nation’s disaster authority.

Abdul Wahid Rayan, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Information and Culture, has revealed that the death toll from the Herat earthquake is even higher than initially stated. He noted that approximately six villages have been completely devastated, leaving hundreds of civilians trapped beneath the rubble. Urgent assistance is desperately needed, he emphasized.

Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban spokesperson based in Qatar, told Al Jazeera that many people are missing and rescue operations are under way to recover people trapped in debris in the wake of magnitude 6.3 earthquake in Herat province.

Shaheen said that there is an urgent need for tents, medical and food items in the areas hit by the disaster, as he appealed local businessmen and NGOs to come forward to help people in need.

The United Nations late on Saturday gave a preliminary figure of 320 dead, but later said the figure was still being verified, while the Red Crescent said 500 people were killed.

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