Afghanistan Again Rocked By Deadly 6.3 Magnitude Quake

Oct 12, 2023

A 6.3 magnitude earthquake rocked northwestern Afghanistan on Wednesday. It killed at least one person and injured 120. This temblor strikes new fear into a populace already reeling from a series of temblors believed to have killed thousands in the region since Saturday.

Taliban officials and responders spent Wednesday assessing the damage and casualties. This was as aid groups continued to struggle to reach remote villages nearly destroyed by the Saturday quake and as many as seven powerful aftershocks. The original quake also measured at 6.3.

Wednesday’s temblor struck shortly after 5 am. It hit just outside Herat and six miles underground. That’s what the US Geological Survey says. The Saturday quake struck 25 miles northwest of the provincial capital. The latest quake caused a landslide that covered the Herat-Torghondi highway with debris. It rendered the road impassable. This hampered rescue and relief efforts.

"People need urgent aid." Herat Governor Noor Ahmad Shahab told this to Reuters.

The quakes have forced thousands of people from their homes. It's left them to sleep outside in the nighttime cold. Many survivors are trying to bury their loved ones while seeking shelter for themselves. Unicef estimated that 90% of those killed by the quakes were women and children.

Until Wednesday morning, many survivors had thought the worst was over. 

“When my body started shaking I realized it was another quake.” A 52-year-old man named Nadar told this to The New York Times. He said everyone sleeping outside was screaming.

An unidentified woman told the BBC that before the shaking started she was in a deep sleep because she hadn't slept for four nights. The quake sent her running from her home.

"I have never felt so close to death," she said.

Photo from Reuters.

Reflect: What are some of the immediate and long-term challenges that communities face in the aftermath of a significant earthquake or other natural disaster, and how can individuals and organizations support recovery efforts?

The final paragraphs of the story emphasize _______. (Common Core RI.5.5; RI.6.5)
a. the causes of earthquakes
b. the experiences of survivors during the earthquakes
c. earthquake magnitudes
d. earthquake preparedness
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