During his General Audience on Wednesday, 11 October, Pope Francis extended his heartfelt support and solidarity to the people of Afghanistan who are suffering the consequences of devastating earthquakes that have recently struck the country. (See page 3.) More than 2,400 people were killed in a devastating 6.3-magnitude earthquake and several strong aftershocks that struck northwest Afghanistan on Sunday, 8 October. Rescuers are continuing their search for survivors. “The extent of the damage is tremendous. The number of people affected by this tragedy is truly alarming and is bound to increase as people in Herat are still trapped in the rubble of their homes”, said Arshad Malik, Director of Save the Children in Afghanistan. The earthquake devastated much of Herat province and has left thousands of children homeless. Poor communications and a lack of proper roads are making relief efforts very difficult. More than 9,000 families have been severely affected and are now homeless, without shelter. They have lost everything. The terror of aftershocks and building collapses has forced them to flee into the open, said Mr Malik, adding that “this is a crisis within a crisis”.
13 October 2023