Quake-Affected Afghans Looking For Assistance To Build Shelters

Himalaya Times
Read Time = 2 mins

The quake-affected families and those who survived the recently devastating natural disaster that swept through west Afghanistan have been looking forward to receiving aid and building shelters as the chilly winter is nearing in the war-ravaged Asian country.

"Our utmost need is to rebuild our home as the winter is getting closer. We cannot live in tents in winter as the night in winter is cold," an injured woman in the regional hospital of Herat Province told Xinhua.

The woman, unwilling to give her name, said she had lost her one-year-old baby in the quake, a misery she has yet to recover from.

"My one-year-old son was taking breast milk. Suddenly the quake jolted the area. I attempted to escape, but the house was razed to rubble, and my son was under debris for about one hour. He died, and I am in hospital," she recalled, with sadness.

She said she was a resident in Sarbland, one of the worst-hit villages in the Zindajan district of Herat. "We had a four-room house, but have nothing now. Everything has gone. Now winter is around the corner and we live in a tent."

Two deadly quakes, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center, each with a magnitude of 6.2 followed by several aftershocks, rocked west Afghanistan on Oct. 7, leaving thousands dead and injured.

Between 1,200 to 1,500 residential houses, according to acting Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, were destroyed during the quakes hitting Herat.

Fresh tremors followed by aftershocks also rocked Herat on Oct. 15, leaving at least two dead and more than 150 others injured.

The number of residential houses damaged or destroyed, according to locals, could be higher than reported.

Corroborating a similar feeling, a man who survived the deadly quake called Hajji Mohammad Ismail said the quake was horrible, noting his village was turned to dust in seconds.

"It was 11:10 a.m. local time, and we were sipping tea, but suddenly a powerful blast threw us down from the top of a mosque, and when we stood on our feet, we saw big smoke and within seconds found our village turned to dust," said Ismail, who lives in the Naib Rafi village.

"About 300 families with 2,000 people used to live here in this village but a majority of them including women, children and elderly people have died, about 80 or 90 percent of the village's population were killed in the quake," he added.

"We need everything, but above all, our shelters must be built as a priority," the man said.



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