Afghanistan: Survivors share ordeal after deadly earthquake

In the aftermath of the powerful 6.3-magnitude earthquake that struck Herat province on Saturday, nearly 600 injured individuals have been transported to Herat’s Provincial Hospital, revealing harrowing tales of destruction and loss.

Some of the injured, who made their way to the hospital from Zenda Jan district, recounted the terrifying impact of the earthquake, stressing the devastation it wrought upon their homes and the loss of their family members.

“We do not have the exact number of casualties because it has not been confirmed. Only about 190 deceased individuals were transported to the hospital since yesterday, and they were subsequently transferred to the army corps,” said Noor Gul Walizada, the deputy manager at the Nursing Department at Herat Provincial Hospital.

A resident of Ghawgha village in Zenda Jan district described the grim scene, stating that the entire village had been reduced to rubble, and he had tragically lost 12 family members in the earthquake.

The wounded individuals admitted to Herat’s Provincial Hospital not only bear physical pain but also carry the heavy burden of losing family members.

Mah Gul, a resident of Ghogha village in Zenda Jan district, is a mother who has lost 25 members of her family.

She shared her heartbreaking account, saying, “25 people died in our house. We were left with only two women… We were left with a man and his three children.”

The Herat Provincial Hospital echoes with sighs, moans, and screams, each telling a tale of profound loss.

“We have about 200 houses. The earthquake happened at 11:00. We are workers. We were working in Kariz. We saw the earthquake, and Kariz shook. When we left Kariz, we were left behind,” Ali Ahmad, a resident of Herat’s Zenda Jan district, described the moment of the earthquake.

“We looked around, the village was leveled, there was nothing, it was dusty. When the dust settled, we came and saw that there was nothing, and the village was gone,” he added.

The survivors not only bear the weight of lost family members but also face the daunting reality of losing their homes and possessions.

“My brother and his four children were killed. Two of my brothers are in the hospital, one with a broken back and the other with a broken leg. His three daughters are unaccounted for. We lost our house and everything,” said Shirin, a resident of Herat’s Zenda Jan district.

For the survivors of the Herat earthquake, the challenges are immense, as they not only mourn the loss of family members but also grapple with the destruction of their homes, pondering where to seek shelter once discharged from the hospital.