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More than 100 dead after earthquake in Afghanistan: "Everything has turned to sand"


Highlights: More than 100 dead after earthquake in Afghanistan: "Everything has turned to sand". In just one day, Mexico has experienced a magnitude 6.3 earthquake. There had also been strong earthquakes in Mexico and Papua New Guinea. In recent days, a series of severe earthquakes have spread worldwide in the Mount Vesuvius region around Naples. The strongest earthquake in 25 years was reported in the Phlegraean Fields, and researchers are now expecting a veritable veritable explosion in the volcanic fields.

Status: 08.10.2023, 06:56 a.m.

By: Teresa Toth, Bjarne Kommnick, Sarah Neumeyer


Since Friday, there have been earthquakes in several countries. Around 120 people have lost their lives in Afghanistan.

Update from Sunday, October 8, 6:49 a.m.: After the strong earthquakes in Afghanistan, the desperate search for survivors continues. According to preliminary official figures, about 120 people were killed and more than a thousand others were injured. "Women, children and the elderly" are also affected, the head of the disaster management authority of the western province of Herat, Mosa Ashari, told AFP news agency on Saturday (7 October). The spokesman for the disaster management agency, Mullah Jann Sajek, said the death toll was expected to "rise very high".

The international aid organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) reports on the Internet platform X (formerly Twitter) that at least 300 injured people were treated in the hospital in the provincial city of Herat in the first few hours. MSF erected additional tents there immediately after the quake. According to the WHO, a total of around 4200 people were affected by the earthquake disaster, and at least 600 houses were destroyed.

Hundreds of houses were destroyed in the severe earthquakes in Afghanistan. © Mashal/dpa

"There was a lot of noise and there wasn't much time to react," 42-year-old Bashir Ahmad told AFP. "At the first quake, all the houses collapsed." Nek Mohammed, 32, said he was at work during the quake. When he came home, there was "nothing left". "Everything has turned to sand," he added. Now the survivors don't even have blankets to protect themselves from the cold.

Earthquake shakes Afghanistan: UN confirms at least 100 deaths

Update from Saturday, October 7, 20:55 p.m.: According to the United Nations (UN), more than 100 people have died after several strong earthquakes in Afghanistan. In addition, hundreds of houses were destroyed, the UN emergency relief office OCHA said on Saturday. A total of about 4200 people were affected by the earthquakes, according to a statement.

Update from Saturday, October 7, 19:53 p.m.: According to preliminary official figures, about 120 people have died in a severe earthquake in Afghanistan. More than a thousand people were injured. This was announced by the head of the disaster management authority of the western province of Herat, Mosa Ashari, to the AFP news agency on Saturday. "Women, children and the elderly" are also affected. According to Afghan data, the quake had a magnitude of 6.3, followed by several aftershocks.

According to the spokesman for the Taliban ruling Afghanistan, Sabiullah Mujahid, military and rescue organizations have been ordered to rush to the affected earthquake region for help. Earthquakes occur again and again in Afghanistan, especially in the Hindu Kush, where the Indian and Eurasian continental plates collide. Since many houses in the country are poorly built, the earthquakes often cause severe damage. There had also been strong earthquakes in Mexico and Papua New Guinea.


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After several earthquakes, at least 100 people have died in Afghanistan. © MOHSEN KARIMI/AFP

Earthquakes shake three countries at the same time – damage and number of victims still unclear

First reported on Saturday, October 7, 19:05 p.m.: Herat – After the devastating earthquake in Morocco is probably still fresh in the minds of many, new reports of severe earthquakes have spread worldwide in recent days. Mount Vesuvius in the region around Naples recently experienced the worst earthquake in over 40 years. Just a few days earlier, the strongest earthquake in 25 years was reported in the Phlegraean Fields, and researchers are now expecting a veritable explosion of the volcanic fields around Vesuvius.

Since Friday, at least three more major earthquakes have joined the global series. In just one day, Mexico has experienced a magnitude 6.3 earthquake, Afghanistan has a magnitude 6.3 quake, and Papua New Guinea has seen a magnitude 6.7 earthquake.

Earthquake in Mexico felt over 300 kilometers away

In Mexico, the epicenter of the earthquake has been located in Oaxaca in southern Mexico, as Daily Mail reports. The effects of the quake were felt as far away as Mexico City, 366 kilometers away, so that even car alarms were triggered in the Mexican capital. So far, the authorities have not been able to provide any information about injured persons and an overview of the damage.

Earthquake shakes Afghanistan – at least eight aftershocks

Shortly afterwards, Afghanistan was also hit by an earthquake in which at least 15 people died, as a spokesman for the civil protection told dpa. Hundreds of deaths are feared. The city of Herat was particularly affected by the natural disaster. The epicenter was about 40 kilometers northwest of the city. Seven villages in the hard-hit border province of Herat were completely destroyed, said a spokesman for the national disaster management.

After the first quake with a magnitude of 5.6 had already occurred, at least eight aftershocks followed, including those with magnitudes of 5.5, 4.7, 6.3 and 5.9. The earthquake was also felt in Iran. According to reports from the population, even in the metropolis of Mashhad, 300 kilometers away, house walls were still shaking.

A resident of the province of Herat explained: "We have fled from the buildings, everyone is in the open field and no one knows what happened to their houses". A spokesman for a Taliban-run news agency told a group of journalists: "Unfortunately, the earthquake has caused a lot of damage to the residents of Herat. Exact details will be announced later."

Papua New Guinea and Japan also affected by earthquakes

Also on Friday, a major earthquake of magnitude 6.7 also occurred in the northeast of Papua New Guinea. However, the authorities had not been able to record any immediate reports of damage. On Thursday, an earthquake of magnitude 6.6 also occurred in Japan, south of Tokyo, on the island chain. Initially, the population was warned of a possible tsunami, but the warning has since been lifted. Recently, researchers also predicted that Istanbul could soon be hit by a major earthquake.

Worldwide earthquake series: Are there more and more earthquakes?

Usually, earthquakes of this kind are not uncommon, as the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources explains in a press release. According to the report, "earthquakes occur all the time and strong quakes with magnitude 6 and higher occur on average about three times a week."

However, the decisive factor is whether the quakes will occur in areas with a low population density or in regions with safe buildings. In many cases, the quakes far away from civilization would not even be noticed and there would hardly be any serious consequences.

According to figures from the Unites States Geological Survey, 2011 is the most earthquake-prone year on Earth since records began in 1964 – with a total of 2500,5 earthquakes of magnitude 1500 or higher. Overall, the global number of earthquakes per year fluctuates, but usually around an approximate average of around 2005. Only between 2012 and 2000 did the researchers report around <> major earthquakes per year. (bk/dpa)

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-10-08

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