Deadly Earthquakes Shake Afghanistan


Powerful earthquakes in Afghanistan have killed nearly 3,000 people, Taliban officials reported on October 9. A 6.3-magnitude earthquake with eight powerful aftershocks struck the mountainous region northwest of Herat two days earlier.

Janan Sayeeg, spokesman for the Ministry of Disasters, told Reuters 1,320 houses had been damaged or destroyed. Health workers said they could not keep up with the high number of deaths and injured people.

Vans filled with dead bodies are arriving here each minute. We are struggling with the very high number of injured people. I have not counted dead bodies. Our morgue is out of capacity.
—Herat hospital medic

In Herat, survivors have been sleeping in parks and the streets of demolished villages as they search for their loved ones. “These past few days have been incredibly distressing. We’ve spent the last two nights in the desert, and more aftershocks keep occurring,” Herat resident Shakib said. “My 2-year-old son is unwell, and there’s nowhere to take him for medical care.”

Taliban officials said that more than 20 villages were completely flattened and many people are still under the rubble.

One after another: In February, earthquakes in Turkey and Syria killed an estimated 50,000 people. In September, earthquakes in Morocco killed about 3,000.

Why ‘natural’ disasters: The Bible shows that God has ultimate power over nature. Why would He allow such devastating earthquakes?

[T]he Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers …. The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.
—Nahum 1:3-5

God uses the weather and natural disasters such as earthquakes to teach people. He wants man to recognize that he is utterly powerless without God, and that curses such as this are a direct result of disobedience to His law. Ultimately, God wants all mankind to repent of its sins and look to Him for protection.

Learn more: Read Why ‘Natural’ Disasters?