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Credits: Mohsen Karimi/AFP/Getty Images
A 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck approximately 25 miles from Herat in western Afghanistan around 11 am on October 7th, 2023, devastating eight villages – namely Mahal Wardkah (most affected), Dasht Hows, Bahadorzai, Zoryan, Koshkak, Sar Boland, Sanjab, and Hilalzai. The impact was immediate and catastrophic, with at least 600 buildings sustaining extensive damage, trapping countless individuals beneath the rubble. The alarm that swept through the region was compounded by at least eight powerful aftershocks, further exacerbating the precarious situation. Initially, AP reports have confirmed 2,000 casualties & thousands injured, but the full extent of the widespread destruction suggested that this figure would inevitably rise as emergency workers continued search and rescue operations.
Herat Province, often regarded as Afghanistan's cultural capital, lies approximately 75 miles east of the Iranian border and is the 2nd most populated province of Afghanistan, home to an estimated 3.7 million residents, living in 17 districts and about 2,000 villages. Afghanistan, due to its geographical location near the junction of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates, frequently experiences earthquakes, particularly in the Hindu Kush Mountain range. The region remains susceptible to these natural disasters As HHRD teams have served in Afghanistan since 2014 and continue vital developmental work in the region. This emergency calls for immediate needs such as tents, blankets, bedding, mattresses, pillows, food parcels, cooked meals, lamps (lanterns), hygiene kits, baby formula, women’s kits, and other essentials.
HHRD is deeply committed to Afghanistan, where we have an established presence and are registered as an International NO (INGO) since 2014. Our on-ground team supports 2,600 orphans and empowers another 800+ annually through skills development & livelihood. HHRD undertakes 30 water projects annually to provide clean water, complemented by healthcare and nutrition programs. We also run a physical rehabilitation program for those in need for wheelchairs. HHRD's dedication to Afghanistan goes beyond immediate needs, while the people in the country also benefit from our seasonal programs such as Ramadan Food Packages, Qurbani, and Winter Provisions.
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