Afghan earthquake death toll reaches 26 - GulfToday

Afghan earthquake death toll reaches 26


Afghan villagers wait to receive food after their home was damaged by an earthquake. AP

Gulf Today Report

The United Nations on Tuesday raised the death toll from twin earthquakes in western Afghanistan the day before to 26, saying three villages of around 800 houses were flattened by the temblors.


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At least four people were injured and the dead included women and children, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Villagers in the area were still searching on Tuesday for their family members and removing items stuck under the mud.

Afghan villagers remove bricks after their home was damaged by Monday's earthquake. AP

Survivors of twin earthquakes said on Tuesday they had to spend the night without shelter in plummeting temperatures, after hundreds of buildings were damaged in the tremor.

Rescuers meanwhile searched for more survivors of Monday afternoon's quakes that jolted Qadis district in the western Badghis province, a rural area not easily accessible by road.

According to the UN statement, hundreds of mud-brick houses that were destroyed were already vulnerable due to heavy heavy rains in the country. Many survivors spent the night sheltering at their relatives' houses while others stayed among the ruins of their homes.

An Afghan family stands inside their home after Monday's earthquake in the remote western province of Badghis. AP

The US Geological Survey said two earthquakes hours apart of magnitude 4.9 and 5.3 rocked the district.

"Yesterday's earthquake was a very horrifying incident. We had never seen such a thing," Ahmad Shah, whose house in Qadis was damaged, told AFP.

"Because of the cracked walls and roofs of our houses we stayed out all night in this cold weather. Nobody came to help and the people had to dig out those who were buried."


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