icon icon icon icon icon icon icon

Earthquake in Afghanistan: The latest news & how you can help

At 10:57 a.m. local time on Saturday, October 7, a powerful, 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck the western Afghanistan province of Herat, killing over two thousand people and injuring many more.

The earthquake and its aftershocks have caused widespread damage to the region’s mostly-mud houses, with government officials reporting that many of the homes in places like the Zindajan district have been completely destroyed.

Reshma Azmi, the CARE Deputy Country Director in Afghanistan, told the The Washington Post that no one had expected such a devastating quake in this part of Afghanistan.

“And nobody was prepared,” she said.

The aftermath of the earthquake that struck Afghanistan on Oct 7, 2023. Many of the affected areas had mud homes that could not withstand the quake or its aftershocks.

“The earthquake struck at a time when Afghanistan was already facing a severe humanitarian crisis that was significantly under-funded,” said Azmi.

“The fast-approaching winter, combined with this new disaster, is likely to exacerbate the existing challenges and make it even more difficult for people to meet their basic needs, like adequate shelter, food, and medicine.”

The current Humanitarian Response Plan that aims to support 23.7M people in country is only 33.9 percent funded, while needs are increasing rapidly.

A family works to dig a child out from under the rubble in Afghanistan after the devastating earthquake hit the region on Saturday.

“Families spoke to CARE of their urgent need for food, shelter, cash, medicine, and clean water to help them cope with this tragedy,” Azmi said.

Based on the findings of CARE’s Herat team, the affected households are in urgent need of cash, food, and shelter.

CARE staff assisting affected people in Afghanistan after the recent earthquake.

“We are particularly concerned about the impact of the earthquake on these communities,” Azmi said. “Especially women and girls who already face serious restrictions on their freedom, hindering their ability to access critical lifesaving services.”

In the first hours of response, CARE has been supporting affected communities by deploying mobile health teams, livestock care teams, and offering cash assistance for daily wage laborers. CARE also plans to distribute dignity kits and blankets to women and girls in affected areas.

CARE began working in Afghanistan in 1961 and has had continuous operations in the country since 1989 with programs focusing on women’s social and economic empowerment, healthcare, and cash assistance.

Millions in Afghanistan are already food insecure, and this most recent earthquake will complicate the already dire circumstances of those facing ongoing drought, conflict, COVID-19, high food prices, displaced communities, and rampant unemployment.

This is a developing story. Please check back to CARE News for further updates.

Back to Top