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HomedisastersDeath toll from Afghanistan earthquakes climbs to more than 2,000

Death toll from Afghanistan earthquakes climbs to more than 2,000

The death toll from strong earthquakes in western Afghanistan, one of the deadliest earthquakes to shake the country in two decades, has risen to more than 2,000, a Taliban government spokesman said Sunday.

A 6.3 magnitude earthquake followed by strong aftershocks killed dozens of people in western Afghanistan on Saturday, according to the country’s national disaster authority.

However, Ministry of Information and Culture spokesman Abdul Wahid Rayan says per another source the death toll from the earthquake in Herat is higher than originally reported. About six villages were destroyed, and hundreds of civilians have been trapped under the debris.

The United Nations provided a preliminary figure late Saturday that 320 people were dead, but it later said the figure was still being verified. Local authorities estimated that 100 people were killed and 500 were injured, according to the same update from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The Taliban urged local organizations to reach areas struck by the earthquake as soon as possible to help transport victims to hospitals, provide shelter for people displaced from their homes and deliver food to survivors. The Taliban said security agencies should use all their resources and facilities to rescue people trapped under debris.

“We ask our wealthy compatriots to give any possible cooperation and help to our afflicted brothers,” the Taliban said on X.

The earthquake comes after a powerful June 2022 earthquake struck a rugged, mountainous region of eastern Afghanistan that killed at least 1,000 people and injured about 1,500.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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