Afghanistan: Herat earthquake victims battle cold, lack of shelter

Residents of Herat province, particularly children, face worsening conditions due to severe cold and shelter shortages following recent earthquakes. In tents, families endure frigid nights, lamenting the lack of support from the Taliban and aid agencies.

Saadia, a mother of eight, struggles to keep her family warm in a tent, having lost everything in the earthquake. She cited ongoing storms over four months as exacerbating their hardships, resulting in her children’s illnesses.

“There is no food or water. We have no access to healthcare,” she said.

Farzana, another resident, described life in tents as extremely challenging.

In Herat’s Injil, Guzara, Kushk, and Zanda Jan districts, earthquake impacts have been severe. Some residents, unable to withstand the harsh tent conditions, have returned to their damaged homes.

“We moved back because of continuous rain and cold,” said Minaa, a resident. “Our homes are damaged, and aftershocks are a constant fear.”

In Herat City, many have left tents for their homes, despite risks and inadequacies in nutrition and health.

The United Nations Humanitarian Coordination Office reports staggering damage: approximately 10,000 houses destroyed and 20,000 severely damaged.