Herat earthquake aftermath: Hundreds of families still in tents

A resident of Chahak village in Injeel district of Herat.

Nearly three months after the Oct. 7 earthquake in Herat province, over 250 families in Injeel district’s Chahak village remain in tents amidst the ruins of their homes.

Residents are increasingly concerned for their children’s health as winter approaches. The World Bank has estimated that approximately 114,000 people affected by the earthquake in Herat require immediate assistance.

The Chahak village, particularly hard-hit by the quake, saw extensive destruction, with the disaster claiming over 1,400 lives in the province.

‘Our children are suffering from pneumonia, and we lack basic necessities like food, fuel, and blankets,’ said Jalil Ahmad, a local resident.

The Chahak village in Injeel district of Herat, which has been damaged by October 7, 2023 earthqauke.

Rahila, another villager, described the dire conditions in which she and her three children live.

“We have been without gas since the earthquake. We have no firewood, and all our belongings are cramped in a small tent,” she said.

The World Bank reports that the earthquakes in Herat have caused damages totaling $314 million to homes, livestock, and agriculture.

Zia-ul-Haq, another resident, lamented, “Our houses are destroyed, we have nowhere to go, and our children suffer in the cold.”

Last October, Herat experienced several powerful earthquakes, resulting in over 1,400 deaths and 11,000 injuries, according to United Nations data. Additionally, 8,500 houses were completely demolished.