Following a significant earthquake that struck western Afghanistan close to the Iranian border, hundreds of people are thought dead.
The death toll has been estimated to be far higher. At least 12 villages in the area of Herat were completely destroyed on Saturday by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake.
Powerful aftershocks occurred. Survivors recalled how terrified they were as the buildings around them fell.
Rescuers searched through the night for people who might be hidden beneath the wreckage.
There have been thousands of injuries.
Hospitals in a nation with woefully insufficient medical resources struggle to treat the injured. Emergency supplies are now pouring in, thanks in part to the UN and other organizations.
Around 11:00 local time (06:30 GMT) on Saturday, the earthquake occurred roughly 40 km (25 mi) north-west of Herat.
“We were at our offices when the building began to tremble. Parts of the structure crumbled as the wall plaster began to fall down and the walls developed fractures. Bashir Ahmad, a resident of Herat, told the AFP news agency.
“I can’t get in touch with my family… It was awful, and I’m terrified and worried too much,” he continued.
To determine the extent of the effects, the Taliban’s minister of public health is currently in Herat.
Video from Herat Central Hospital shows patients being treated outside the main building while connected to intravenous drips, illustrating the unexpected and massive demand for emergency care.
Other images depict scenes of destruction in the Injil neighborhood of Herat, where roads were blocked by rubble, impeding rescue efforts.
Idrees Arsala, a student, told AFP that “the situation was very horrible, I have never experienced such a thing.” After the tremors started, he was the last person to leave his classroom safely.
The city of Herat, which is 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of the Iranian border, is regarded as Afghanistan’s cultural center. In the province, there are thought to be 1.9 million residents.
Due to its proximity to the meeting point of the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates, Afghanistan experiences earthquakes often, particularly in the Hindu Kush mountain region.
More than 1,000 people were killed and tens of thousands of people were left homeless when a 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck the province of Paktika in June of last year.