Over 300 killed as two huge magnitude 6.3 earthquakes strike Afghanistan

Two huge 6.3 magnitue earthquakes have rocked western Afghanistan and leveled hundreds of homes, killing over 300 people in its wake.

The United Nations gave a preliminary figure of 320 dead, but later said the figure was still being verified.

Four villages in the Zenda Jan district in Herat province bore the brunt of the quakes and aftershocks as dozens of houses were destroyed following the devastating quakes.

The United States Geological Survey reported the 6.3 magnitude tremblors, with an aftershock measuring a magnitude of 5.5.

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It said the epicenter was 40 kilometers (24.8 miles) northwest of Herat city.

The World Health Organization in Afghanistan said it dispatched 12 ambulance cars to Zenda Jan to evacuate casualties to hospitals.

The organisation took to X, formerly Twitter, and wrote: “As deaths & casualties from the earthquake continue to be reported, teams are in hospitals assisting treatment of wounded & assessing additional needs.

“WHO-supported ambulances are transporting those affected, most of them women and children.”

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Telephone connections went down in Herat, making it hard to get details from affected areas.

Videos on social media showed hundreds of people in the streets outside their homes and offices in Herat city.

Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban-appointed deputy prime minister for economic affairs, expressed his condolences to the dead and injured in Herat and Badghis.

“We ask our wealthy compatriots to give any possible cooperation and help to our afflicted brothers,” the Taliban said on X. 

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