Editor’s note: Government officials said the 7.6 magnitude earthquake on Monday, October 26th, whose epicenter was located in northeast Afghanistan, caused many deaths and tremendous property damage as structures collapsed in Badakshan, Takhar, Nangarhar, Kunar, and other provinces in the north and east. Communications remained cut off in many areas.
I was in the library of my university in Kabul on Monday afternoon where all the students were busy studying because everyone has been getting ready for the midterm exams. It is a quite a wonderful atmosphere. But then suddenly the library started shaking.
The boys started running and shouting, “Move! Move! It is earthquake.” The girls did not move. We all thought that it was a natural event that would stop momentarily. Then for a second time the roof and everything around us began shaking and the electricity went off. At that point the students left everything on the library tables and began running to try and escape. No one knew where to go. Some people were running towards the gates, some were standing near the hallway doors, but finally students, staff, and professors gathered near the building outside, everyone forgetting that the building could collapse on top of them.
One of the professors said to me that he did not know that such a serious earthquake could take place in Afghanistan because they are more common in South Asia. I told him Afghanistan has experienced all kinds of human disasters and now it is time to experience a natural disaster. The earthquake lasted three minutes, shaking buildings, schools, and offices all over Kabul. Some buildings and houses especially in Jada Maiwnad and the old city of Kabul were damaged and some people injured. In the northeast provinces the damages were far worse.
The situation is returning to normal in Kabul but I am very sad this terrible earthquake took the lives of many schoolgirls in Takhar province and many others in Badakhshan province. These girls’ hopes and desires died with them, this time not because of a suicide bomb attack, but a brutal earthquake.
Photo by Mardetanha