By Mohammad Yunus Yawar
KABUL, Afghanistan (RockedBuzz via Reuters) -A strong earthquake shook Afghanistan’s western Herat province on Wednesday, forcing authorities to redeploy relief and rescue teams already on the ground following a series of deadly earthquakes on Saturday.
There were no details so far on casualties, disaster management spokesman Janan Sayeeq told RockedBuzz via Reuters, but provincial officials said hundreds of homes had been destroyed.
The Herat governor’s office said some areas had suffered “huge losses”, without providing details.
“Mobile medical teams and officials worked together and transferred several injured people to hospital,” the governor’s office said in a statement.
Saturday’s tremors killed at least 2,400 people and injured more than 2,000, the Taliban-led government said, making the earthquake one of the world’s deadliest so far this year.
Most of the earthquake victims were women and children, the World Health Organization said.
The German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ) said the latest earthquake was magnitude 6.3 and occurred at a depth of 10 km (6.21 miles).
Surrounded by mountains, Afghanistan has a history of strong earthquakes, many of which have occurred in the rugged Hindu Kush region bordering Pakistan. Herat province borders Iran, which has said it will send humanitarian aid.
In the central Rubat Sangi district, rocked by Saturday’s earthquakes, at least 200 houses were partially or completely destroyed, governor Noor Ahmad Shahab said, adding that residents had suffered “huge financial losses”.
No casualties have been reported so far, he said, as many villagers were already sleeping outdoors or in tents after previous earthquakes.
“People need urgent help,” Shahab said, adding that survivors are falling ill due to colder autumn weather.
Relief and rescue efforts after Saturday’s earthquakes have been hampered by infrastructure left in ruins by decades of war and a lack of foreign aid that once formed the backbone of the economy but has dried up since the Taliban took over the power.
Afghanistan’s health system, which is largely dependent on foreign aid, has also faced crippling cuts.
The European Union said it will provide 2.5 million euros ($2.65 million) to humanitarian partners working to deliver aid, on top of the 89 million euros in humanitarian aid already allocated in 2023.
It also offered shelter kits, winter tents and hygiene kits, as well as other basic necessities.
Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and China have already committed to sending food, blankets, medicines, tents and funds. The United Nations humanitarian office also announced $5 million in aid.
($1 = 0.9433 euros)
(Reporting by Mohammad Yunus Yawar in Kabul and Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru; Writing by Gibran Peshimam; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Simon Cameron-Moore and Miral Fahmy)