Emergency Response after Earthquakes in Afghanistan

Many thousands of people have perished, and entire villages have been leveled to the ground after multiple earthquakes in Herat, Afghanistan.

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Photo: Abdul Maqsood Shakib / Norwegian Church Aid.

On Sunday, October 15, Herat in Afghanistan was struck by another earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3. According to OCHA, more than 1300 individuals have been confirmed dead, and at least 1800 people are injured.

"Many of the residents in Herat had just started returning to their homes after sleeping outside for several days due to fear of aftershocks. Now, many thousands of people are homeless, and winter is approaching," says Margrethe Volden, section leader responsible for Afghanistan in the international department of NCA.

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Photo: Abdul Maqsood Shakib / Norwegian Church Aid.

Response Efforts Underway

NCA has initiated a response to assist those affected by the earthquakes in Herat and has allocated one million Norwegian kroner for immediate aid.

"Through local partners, we are now engaged in a response in the affected areas. We are distributing food, water, medicines, clothing, solar panels, hygiene kits, and tents to the affected individuals," says Volden.

"In the aftermath of such earthquakes, waterborne diseases often spread rapidly. To prevent this, we are setting up water purification systems in the affected areas," adds Volden.

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Photo: Abdul Maqsood Shakib / Norwegian Church Aid.

The Last Thing Afghanistan Needed

The earthquake on Sunday is the third since the powerful earthquake that struck Herat on October 7. Entire villages have been flattened, and at least 19,250 people are affected by the earthquakes.

"The country is already in dire straits, and a natural disaster like this was the last thing this country needed," says Volden.