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Herat Quakes’ Death Toll Rises to over 2000

DID Press: Deadly earthquakes killed at least 2,000 people in western Heral province, a Taliban spokesman said Sunday.

It’s one of the deadliest earthquakes to strike the country in two decades.

Saturday’s magnitude 6.3 earthquake hit a densely populated area, near Afghanistan’s fourth largest city of Herat. It was followed by strong aftershocks.

The United States Geological Survey said the quake’s epicenter was about 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of Herat city. It was followed by three very strong aftershocks, measuring magnitude 6.3, 5.9 and 5.5, as well as lesser shocks.

On Sunday, people are still attempted to dig out their loved ones from under the rocks and debris.

Abdul Wahid Rayan, a spokesman at the Ministry of Information and Culture, said Sunday the death toll is higher than originally reported.
Villages have been destroyed, and hundreds of civilians are buried under the debris, he said while calling for urgent help.
“Besides the 2,060 dead, 1,240 people are injured and 1,320 houses are completely destroyed,” he added.

Doctors Without Borders set up five medical tents at Herat Regional Hospital to accommodate up to 80 patients. Authorities have treated more than 300 patients, according to the agency.
Teams from the aid group,meanwhile, described the destruction near Herat as being much worse than initially feared, with entire villages flattened.

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