Rescuers Search Rubble in Herat, Afghanistan after Deadly Earthquake

Rescuers in Afghanistan are continuing to search through rubble in western Herat province in Afghanistan after a deadly earthquake killed more than 2,000.

The earthquake struck Saturday as a 6.3 magnitude quake, destroying villages near the city of Herat.

This week, workers were also clearing space for mass grave trenches.

“It is very difficult to find a family member from a destroyed house and a few minutes to later bury him or her in a nearby grave, again under the ground,” said Mir Agha, from the city of Herat, who had joined hundreds of volunteers to help the locals.

The United Nations said the Zinda Jan district had the most casualties, with 1,294 deaths and 1,688 injuries. Another 485 people — 191 men and 294 women — are missing. Six schools are also reported to have been destroyed, said the U.N.

The Taliban reported that nearly 2,000 houses were destroyed.

According to Reuters, Afghanistan is prone to earthquakes because the country is located on two major active faults. Meanwhile, many homes in the country do not have a strong foundation and are sometimes poorly constructed.

“Due to the extent of damages and casualties caused by this incident, a large number of our compatriots in Herat province need urgent humanitarian aid,” the Taliban’s justice ministry said in a statement.

Pakistan has agreed to send tents, medicine, and blankets, and China has offered donations, but it’s unclear how much aid the country has received so far.

“Afghanistan needs you — now, more than ever. Please, let’s not add ‘forgotten’ to the long list of tragedies that this resilient nation has already endured,” International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies spokesperson Tommaso Della Longa said in the statement.

The Taliban-appointed deputy prime minister for economic affairs, Abdul Ghani Baradar, and his team visited the quake-affected area on Monday to deliver “immediate relief assistance” and ensure “equitable and accurate distribution of aid.”

“Various ministries and departments are working tirelessly to provide urgent assistance and build shelters for those who have lost their homes,” he said.

Photo Courtesy: ©Getty Images/Emre Can Yadoglu

Video Courtesy: Reuters via YouTube

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

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