At least 26 people were killed in an earthquake in western Afghanistan on Monday, an official said.
The province’s spokesman, Baz Muhammad Sarwari, told AFP that the victims died when the roofs of their homes collapsed in the Kadis district in the western Badghis province.
The shallow quake measured a magnitude of 5.3, according to the US Geological Survey.
“Five women and four children are among the 26 killed in the earthquake,” Sarwari said, adding that four others were injured.
He added that the quake also affected the residents of the headquarters area in the province, but details including casualties are still not available.
Afghanistan is already in the grip of a humanitarian catastrophe, exacerbated by the Taliban’s takeover of the country in August when Western countries froze international aid and access to assets located abroad.
The Qadisiyah region is one of the regions worst affected by the devastating drought, and has benefited little from international aid in the past twenty years.
The country is frequently exposed to earthquakes, especially in the Hindu Kush mountain range, which is located near the junction of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.
Earthquakes can cause massive damage to poorly constructed homes and buildings in impoverished Afghanistan.
In 2015, nearly 280 people died when a powerful 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck its epicenter in the mountain range across southern Asia, with the bulk of the deaths in Pakistan.
In that disaster, 12 Afghan girls were killed in a stampede while trying to flee their shaky school building.
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