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Earthquakes Rock Western Afghanistan 

A series of earthquakes devastated portions of western Afghanistan on Saturday morning, followed by another quake on Wednesday morning.  

On Saturday morning, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake, along with eight aftershocks, flattened hundreds of homes in rural areas of Herat province. More than 2,000 perished, and thousands more were injured.  

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, yet another 6.3 magnitude earthquake shook the same region. Though it was less deadly than Saturday’s earthquake, additional people were injured and more homes destroyed. Our contacts report that many people had been sleeping outside for fear of more earthquakes.  

The people of Afghanistan have suffered decades of war, destruction, and hunger. In 2021, fierce fighting broke out when the Taliban took control of Afghanistan. International agencies pulled out of the country, the economy crashed, and countless Afghans lost their jobs. In 2022, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit the country, followed by widespread flooding and an unusually brutal winter. This week’s earthquakes bring a new level of suffering to many already in poverty. CAM is working with contacts in Afghanistan to assess the needs and identify ways to help. 

 

Afghans sleep on the ground for fear of more earthquakes.

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Earthquake in Afghanistan

Earthquake in Afghanistan, Christian Aid Minstries

What would you think if you awakened in the dark of night to the sound of crashing walls and screams?

This was reality for the people of Afghanistan on June 22nd. At 1:24 a.m., a deadly earthquake in Afghanistan rocked the countryside. As they were jolted out of their sleep, thousands of Afghans no doubt wondered: What is happening? Where is my family? Am I ready to die?

More than one thousand people were killed and many more are wounded. In the villages affected by the quake, most houses are constructed of mud and stone. Recent heavy rains made them especially susceptible, and thousands of houses are badly damaged or completely ruined.

There is mourning on every street

A girl stands in front of a partially collapsed house, looking dazed. She is just a child, no more than three or four years old, but everything she loves is gone.

After trying to rescue his family, a father says, “I called for help but . . . they were already dead. There was nothing I could do.” His eyes fill with tears as he tenderly brushes the dust from his son’s shoes, which he found among the rubble.

An older man watches his five young grandchildren and confides, “I am all they have left. The house and everything here has been destroyed and I will never be able to rebuild.”

One frustrated doctor laments, “We did not have enough people and facilities before . . .  and now the earthquake has ruined the little we had. I don’t know how many of my colleagues are still alive.”

In the words of a journalist witnessing the devastation, “On every street, you hear people mourning the deaths of their loved ones.”

Sorrow is no stranger to Afghanistan

Years of war have ravaged Afghanistan, bringing poverty and destitution. Frequent natural disasters cause ongoing loss and disruption. Many people were facing economic crises before the earthquake. Now survivors say, “There is nothing to eat and no shelter.” Homeless and crippled by grief, they wonder if there is hope. From one survivor’s perspective, “If the world looks on us as brothers and helps us, we will stay here on our land. If they don’t, we will leave this place . . . with tears in our eyes.”

Responding to the needs

Our contacts journeyed through villages affected by the earthquake to evaluate the damage and determine the greatest needs of the victims. They report, “We visited various areas where the earthquake destroyed a lot and many people lost their lives. We talked to the injured and asked about their needs.”

Although many people lost all their possessions, the report noted food items and blankets as priority for the present time, and tents for those without shelter.

CAM is providing funds to enable contacts to distribute food, tents, blankets, and other emergency aid to earthquake victims in Afghanistan. To try to ease the suffering of the most vulnerable, widows and those with disabilities will be among the first to receive assistance. Our prayer is that physical aid will reveal the greater gift of God’s love to the people of Afghanistan.

We want to give you, our supporters, the opportunity to join in our efforts.

God bless you,

Christian Aid Ministries | July 2022

Information for this article is from various news sources and CAM contacts.

To help support the Afghanistan Earthquake program, please click the button below to give a gift.


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