10-7-2023, 1:24 PM

Strong earthquakes in western Afghanistan leave at least 100 people dead, according to the UN

The UN reported 100 deaths and 500 injuries in powerful earthquakes in western Afghanistan on Saturday.

The US Geological Survey reported two 6.3-magnitude earthquakes and several strong aftershocks near Herat. Aftershocks included a 5.9 magnitude one.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Afghanistan reported the initial earthquake 40 km west of Herat at 11 a.m. local time. The neighboring Badghis and Farah provinces felt it.

"Initial assessments indicate that as many as 100 people have been killed across eight villages in Zindajan Province, Herat Province ... with a further 500 people injured," the agency said in a report, noting that "unconfirmed reports suggest this figure may be closer to 320 people."

The agency reported 4,200 people—600 families—affected by the disaster, with 465 houses destroyed and 135 damaged. Mahal Wadakha is worst-hit, it said.

The Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority reported 15 deaths and 40 injuries immediately after the disaster.

As search and rescue efforts continued, the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority reported several Herat Province houses destroyed.

The WHO in Afghanistan posted on social media that it was sending medical supplies to hospitals and ambulances "as deaths & casualties from the earthquake continue to be reported."

Over 1,000 people were killed and 1,500 injured in a 5.9-magnitude earthquake in eastern Afghanistan near Pakistan last year.

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