Taliban says 4,000 people ‘dead or injured’ in Herat earthquake

The Taliban-run State Ministry for Disaster Management issued new casualty figures on Monday saying at least 4,000 people were either dead or injured as a result of Saturday’s deadly earthquake in Herat province.

A spokesman for the ministry, Janan Saiq, said that nearly 20,000 homes were destroyed in 20 villages in Herat.

However, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) gave a different tally for the dead and injured.

“To date, 1,023 people are reported to have been killed and 1,663 people injured across eleven villages of Zindajan district, Herat province, where 100 percent of homes are estimated to have been completely destroyed,” the report stated. 

UNOCHA said another 516 people including 203 men and 213 women from the district were reported missing.

The report noted a total figure of vulnerable families as: 1,320 families in Zindajan, 150 families in Injil, 95 families in Gulran, 60 families in Kohsan and 30 families in Robat-e-Sagani.

The UN agency meanwhile hinted that a search and rescue operation was ongoing.

People injured in the earthquake have been taken to Herat Provincial Hospital and to other hospitals in surrounding provinces, the Taliban has said.

According to UNOCHA, over 550 people are still being treated in Herat Provincial Hospital, and 250 have been declared dead by the hospital.

OCHA meanwhile said that it has approved a $5 million emergency reserve allocation from the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund.

The UN agency said that the humanitarian partners will initiate an emergency appeal that “will be a subset of the existing 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan.”