Kabul, Afghanistan – Two high magnitude earthquakes struck western Afghanistan, killing at least 26 and destroying hundreds of homes in the region on Monday. The search for survivors has continued, reported the country’s local media.

“As per latest reports, a total of 26 people have been confirmed to have died in #Afghanistan after the 5.3 magnitude #earthquake . Most of the people were killed due to collapse of house roof. The death toll could further rise as authorities continue rescue operation”, Asia and World News Tweeted.

Reportedly, when the 5.3 magnitude earthquake hit a remote area residing in western Badghis province near the Turkmenistan border, the roofs of the houses collapsed onto people in that district, told the province’s representative to the media.

“Five women and four children are among the 26 people killed in the earthquake”, said the provincial spokesperson.

Key Facts:

  • Two earthquakes of 4.9 and 5.3 magnitudes hit the Badghis province in Afghanistan residing near the Turkmenistan border, reported the Geological Society (USGS).
  • So far, 26 people have died, and around 700 to 1000 homes have been destroyed due to the earthquakes. However, the death could further increase as the officials continue combing through the wreckage.
  • The two unforeseen earthquakes “caused massive damage to houses,” in the region, said the provincial representative, Baz Mohammad Sarwary.

Monday’s destruction has added to the string of disasters the country’s poorest region has been dealing with, including the Taliban’s takeover and a freefalling economy and still staggering from decades of conflicts.

The remote region has seen years of drought aggravated by climate change, including poor irrigation systems, leading many to struggle for bread. The situation even worsened after the Taliban’s takeover as they seized the country’s international funds, aid, and supply channels.

Afghanistan has been under the threat of earthquakes, specifically in the Hindu Kush Mountain region. The houses in the area remain at the risk of collapsing due to the frequent earthquake threats.

In 2015, the country lost 300 people after a massive 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the region. According to the United Nations, solely Afghanistan needs $5 billion in aid for the year 2022, making the largest humanitarian appeal ever. “The majority of this—$4.4 billion—is needed within Afghanistan to help those displaced outside its borders”, said the organization