Another strong earthquake hits western Afghanistan

An Afghan boy stands amid debris after a powerful earthquake in Herat province in Afghanistan.

An Afghan boy stands amid debris after a powerful earthquake in Herat province in Afghanistan. Photo: AAP

Another strong earthquake has shaken western Afghanistan after an earlier one killed more than 2000 people and flattened whole villages in Herat province, in what was one of the most destructive quakes in the country’s recent history.

The magnitude 6.3 earthquake on Wednesday morning was about 30km outside Herat, the provincial capital, and 10km deep, according to the US Geological Survey. It triggered a landslide that blocked the main Herat-Torghondi highway, Information Ministry spokesman Abdul Wahid Rayan said.

Janan Sayiq, a spokesman for the Afghan Taliban government’s national disaster authority said Wednesday’s earthquake killed at least one person and injured around 120 others.

The aid group Doctors Without Borders said Herat Regional Hospital received 117 who were injured. The group sent additional medical supplies to the hospital and was setting up four more medical tents at the facility.

Wednesday’s quake also flattened all 700 homes in Chahak village, which was untouched by the tremors of previous days. Now there are mounds of soil where dwellings used to be. But no deaths have been reported so far in Chahak because people have taken shelter in tents this week, fearing for their lives as tremors continue to rock Herat.

The epicentre of Saturday’s quake — also of the same magnitude 6.3 — was about 40km northwest of the provincial capital, and several aftershocks have been strong.

Topics: Afghanistan
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