Afghanistan has witnessed yet another catastrophic event, with a sequence of powerful earthquakes causing the death of more than 2,000 individuals in its western regions, as per a statement from a Taliban government representative on Sunday. This puts the event among the most devastating seismic activities the nation has endured in the past twenty years. While independent sources have yet to confirm these figures, should they hold true, the death toll would surpass that of a seismic event that wreaked havoc in eastern Afghanistan in June 2022.
That tragedy, as reported by The Associated Press (AP), devastated a predominantly mountainous landscape, reducing stone and mud-brick structures to rubble and resulting in the deaths of around 1,000 inhabitants. The quake that struck on Saturday, registering a magnitude of 6.3, impacted a significantly more populated territory, in close proximity to Herat, Afghanistan’s fourth-largest city. This primary tremor set off a series of formidable aftershocks, further escalating the calamity.
Data from the United States Geological Survey pinpointed the quake’s origin approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of the city of Herat. Following the primary seismic activity, the region experienced three notably forceful aftershocks with magnitudes of 6.3, 5.9, and 5.5, accompanied by additional milder tremors.