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Afghanistan: MSF is responding to Herat earthquake

Three hundred wounded people have been received at the MSF-supported Herat Regional Hospital.

At around 11:10 a.m. local time on Oct. 7, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck western Afghanistan, followed by several aftershocks. As of 7 p.m. local time, health authorities have confirmed 23 deaths, and 300 wounded people have been received at Herat Regional Hospital.

Several aftershocks were experienced including one of 6.3 magnitude on Oct. 11.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) supports Herat Regional Hospital and manages the facility’s pediatric section, which includes triage, the emergency room, inpatient and ambulatory therapeutic feeding centers, a pediatric intensive care unit, and an intermediate care unit.

“When the first earthquake hit this morning, our teams rushed to evacuate all the children who were admitted, many in critical condition, from the pediatric inpatient wards of the hospital, which are run by MSF.”

Lisa Macheiner, MSF project coordinator in Herat

“This was as a precautionary measure in case aftershocks damaged the building. The facility was not affected by the earthquake.”

“In the hospital’s emergency room, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) is currently handling all incoming wounded patients and has requested supplementary medical supplies. In response, we’ve dispatched mass casualty kits to treat up to 400 wounded patients and stationed a medical team at the hospital’s emergency room for further support if necessary. As rescue efforts and the search for wounded people continue in affected areas, we are monitoring the situation and will adapt our response as needed.”

To prepare for potential additional needs, MSF has set up five medical tents within the hospital compound with the capacity to accommodate up to 80 patients.