Quake Strikes Afghanistan
Roughly 2,400 people have died, and many more are trapped in western Afghanistan, after a pair of 6.3 magnitude earthquakes rocked Asia's poorest nation Sunday. The city of Herat, the nation's third-largest with over 600,000 residents, was the worst affected, with the quake's epicenter just 25 miles northwest of the provincial hub.
The Taliban-led nation has seen both government revenues and humanitarian aid dry up in the two years since the Islamist group's swift takeover on the heels of the United States' exit, crippling its already weak economy and exacerbating its ability to respond to disasters. The United Nations estimates nearly half its 39 million citizens face severe hunger. The deadly event follows last June's 5.9 magnitude quake, which saw over 1,000 killed.
The region sits at the intersection of three tectonic plates—Indian, Eurasian, and Arabian—and is part of the Alpide belt, the world's second-most seismically active fault. See photos of the damage here.