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Rockfall Kills Five Members of a Family in Ghor Province

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – Taliban authorities in Afghanistan’s central Ghor province have reported that a mountain rockfall claimed the lives of at least five members of a family in the province.

Abdul Wahid Hamas, the Taliban spokesperson for Ghor province, told KabulNow that the incident took place in Charsadda district of the province last night, April 2.

According to the Taliban spokesman, in this incident, five members of a family, including three children, were killed. However, some media outlets affiliated with the Taliban have reported the death toll as seven people.

Similar incidents frequently occur in the country, particularly during the rainy spring season due to the lack of safety measures and infrastructure. Just two days ago, in northern Baghlan province, at least one person died and another was injured due to a rockfall.

Afghanistan stands as one of the world’s most impoverished countries, enduring decades of conflict, prone to natural disasters, and at risk from extreme weather events associated with climate change.

Natural disasters like earthquakes, landslides, and floods claim dozens of lives in the country every year, a toll that has risen in recent years due to deforestation and drought.

The repeated occurrence of such incidents emphasizes the necessity for increased awareness and preemptive measures to protect the lives of residents, particularly in mountainous regions vulnerable to geological hazards.

The recent heavy snowfall has also led to significant landslides in many parts of the country, claiming dozens of lives. In February, Taliban authorities in eastern Nuristan province reported that at least 28 people, including women and children, had been killed and dozens more injured due to heavy landslides. 

In October of last year, a powerful 6.3-magnitude earthquake shook many districts in western Herat province, followed by multiple aftershocks. According to the UN, these seismic events caused over 1,500 fatalities and left more than 2,600 others injured.

The UN says that the earthquakes have affected 275,000 people in nearly 4000 families, including around 40,000 pregnant women and children. Among the affected are over 10,000 elderly individuals with disabilities and people suffering from chronic illnesses.

The Post-Disaster Needs Assessment report, jointly prepared by the UN, the World Bank, the European Union, and the Islamic Development Bank, indicates that the reconstruction of earthquake-affected areas in Herat province requires over $400 million.

According to the report, the earthquakes in Herat have resulted in direct damages amounting to $217 million and an additional $78.9 million in indirect damages.

These natural disasters and the ongoing suffering of their victims highlight the vulnerability of the population since the Taliban’s takeover in August 2021. The country is struggling with the world’s worst humanitarian crisis amid shrinking international aid commitments. 

The UN estimates that in 2024, over half of Afghanistan’s population, about 23.7 million people, will require humanitarian aid. To address this pressing need, the UN has appealed for $3.01 billion in funding to provide life-saving assistance to these vulnerable populations. However, according to the UN, only 6% of the requested funds have been received thus far.