Herat Earthquake Tragedy
On October 7, 2023, an earthquake of 6.3 magnitude hit western Afghanistan, devastating the Herat Province. Since this initial quake, there have been two aftershocks measuring 6.3 magnitude on October 7th and October 15th. In the blink of an eye, whole communities lost lives, homes, schools, clinics, and livelihoods.
Because the initial quake occurred mid-morning, at a time when women and their children were home, 90% of the fatalities* and most of the injuries occurred amongst women and children. Communities have been hit hard. Some villages have lost every single home. Thousands are now homeless or too afraid to enter any structure that may still be standing.
To date, almost 45,000 people have been directly affected by the earthquake, almost 3,500 homes have been completely destroyed**, over 2,000 people have died, thousands have been injured and hundreds are still missing.
According to the Associated Press, in Naib Rafi, a village that had approximately 2,500 residents, people are reporting that almost no one was left alive, other than men who may have been working outside at the time of the initial quake.
Immediately after the earthquake, victims began arriving at Herat Regional Hospital, run by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). MSF set up additional tents to help treat victims. TKHF made an emergency grant to MSF of $50k to aid victims. But more help is needed.
In addition to lack of shelter, survivors face poor sanitation and limited access to food and clean water at a time when Afghanistan’s notoriously harsh winter is fast approaching. Even before this tragedy, roughly 29 million Afghans were in need of humanitarian aid, roughly 69% of the population.
Recent reports from the World Food Program indicate that 15.3 million Afghans are at a crisis level of hunger and 3 million are on the brink of starvation and in desperate need of food aid. The need is almost too great to adequately quantify.
Given the vast devastation from the Herat earthquake and the tidal wave of need, TKHF is holding a fundraiser to provide additional aid to earthquake survivors. We hope you will join us in providing direly needed aid for those impacted by the Herat earthquake.
* - According to the UN
** - Data from United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Photo credits: top to bottom (AP photo / Ebrahim Noroozi, Afghanistan 2023 © MSF, Afghanistan 2023 © MSF, and Afghanistan 2023 © Paul Odongo/MSF)