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How the Afghanistan Earthquake is Affecting Communities

How the Afghanistan Earthquake is Affecting Communities

The unpredictability of natural disasters is what makes them so tragic, as they leave behind a trail of destruction that devastates communities. As a result, the Afghanistan humanitarian crisis isn’t the only issue that the nation is having to deal with, as it has since found itself being destroyed by a huge earthquake. The impacts of an earthquake go way beyond those immediate effects; in fact, they result in some serious long-term impacts, too. These devastating effects are explored in further detail below.

The Recent Earthquake in Afghanistan

In October 2023, two colossal earthquakes struck Afghanistan, causing widespread destruction across the nation. The Afghanistan earthquake magnitude was 6.3, leaving those in already desperate circumstances struggling more than ever. Although the quake struck Herat, the effects rippled far beyond this, reaching neighbouring regions and causing a nationwide struggle. It’s safe to say that a quake of this size left a deep scar on the communities it touched, profoundly impacting their lives.

The Immediate Consequences of the Afghanistan Earthquakes

Firstly, the earthquake resulted in 3,000 lives being lost as a result of crumbling buildings, which left people fighting for their lives under the debris. This led to families being torn apart and entire communities mourning the loss of their loved ones.

In addition to thousands of deaths, the earthquake also led to thousands of people being displaced. Upwards of 1,300 homes were destroyed, forcing individuals out of their place of living, meaning they had no choice but to seek temporary shelter in camps or with relatives. Not only is this disruptive to a person’s life, but it can result in a whole host of economic and social problems as communities struggle to rebuild their lives.

Roads, schools, hospitals, and other critical infrastructure sustained severe damage, which left communities without access to essential services. Naturally, this heightened their vulnerability during an already massively difficult time.

As previously mentioned, even before the earthquake, Afghanistan was in the midst of a humanitarian crisis. Therefore, existing issues were only complicated further. Food supply became sparser, clean water was in shorter supply, and medical assistance became harder to access. This was all down to a lack of resources and damaged infrastructure.

The Long-Term Afghanistan Earthquake Damage

While the immediate effects are exactly that - immediate, the long-term effects are equally as damaging, if not more so. For instance, the aftereffects of earthquakes can include psychological trauma that has the capacity to last a lifetime, even after the physical wounds have healed. Children, in particular, are often subject to nightmares, with anxiety and the fear of another earthquake taking hold of their everyday lives.

Due to the damage caused to businesses and agricultural lands, an earthquake of this scale leads to a lasting economic impact. From this, livelihoods are sure to be lost as thousands of families struggle to rebuild their homes and replace their possessions.

Schools are just some of the essential structures that have been hit by the earthquake, and this means that educational setbacks are inevitable. Children are set to miss weeks or even months of schooling, meaning their academic progress will be affected, and their future opportunities may be stunted as a result.

Due to the lack of resources and the difficulty of building earthquake-resistant structures, reconstructing homes after an earthquake is no easy feat. As a result, residents are often left exposed to the risk of future disasters.

Since earthquakes leave families displaced, relationships and social structures within communities are put under strain. Social cohesion is impacted by these communities being fractured, as family members are forced to migrate in search of work or a stable environment.

The health of Afghanistan’s population is already not in a good way due to the humanitarian crisis. This is only made worse by earthquakes, in which access to healthcare services, sanitation facilities, and clean water is limited. From this, diseases are more easily spread, and the suffering of communities is only exacerbated.

Afghanistan Earthquake Response

Although Afghanistan has been faced with immense challenges, the nation has demonstrated great resilience. In addition to this, Muslim Aid has worked to provide immediate relief, including temporary shelter, medical care, clean water, and food. Our work doesn’t stop there, though; we also establish longer-term recovery projects to initiate healthcare facilities and rebuild infrastructure and schools. Therefore, we work to combat the immediate impacts and long-term effects alike.

Help Communities in Need with Muslim Aid

Muslim Aid is accepting donations to our Afghanistan Earthquake Emergency Appeal. With your support, we’ll be able to provide aid to those who need it most across the nation. No matter how big or small your donation, it has the capacity to change lives, so please give what you can. From immediate relief to long-term support, we work to ease the hardship of those in Afghanistan as much as possible; however, we require your donations to do so.

We are a faith-based British international charity that provides help to people who are victims of natural disasters or conflict or suffering from poverty, hunger, disease, homelessness, injustice, deprivation or lack of skills and economic opportunities.

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