The death toll from the massive 6.3-magnitude earthquake in Afghanistan’s Herat and neighboring provinces has increased to 2,445 as rescue officials are racing against time to rescue people from the debris, authorities said.
The most affected area is the Zanda Jan district in Herat, where 13 villages have been “utterly destroyed”, Xinhua news agency quoted Mawlawi Musa Ashari, Herat’s provincial director for the National Disaster Management Authority, as saying on Sunday night.
Earlier on Sunday, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Authority, Mullah Janan Shaeq, said more than 9,200 people had been injured during the quakes.
The earthquake struck about 40 km north-west of the city of Herat at around 11 a.m. on October 7.
With communications down and many roads blocked, rescue workers are struggling to reach remote areas.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 465 houses have been completely destroyed.
Herat is located 120 km east of the Iranian border and an estimated 1.9 million people are believed to be living in the province.
Afghanistan is frequently hit by earthquakes — especially in the Hindu Kush mountain range as it lies near the junction of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.
In June last year, Paktika province was hit by a 5.9 magnitude quake which killed more than 1,000 people and left thousands homeless.