A family picture can be seen on a wall of a damaged house after the recent earthquake in Chahak village 

By Francesca Merlo

Oct 12 2023

Pope Francis appeals for international solidarity to aid the people of Afghanistan following a recent devastating earthquake.

During his General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis delivered a extended his heartfelt support and solidarity to the people of Afghanistan who are suffering the consequences of devastating earthquakes that have recently struck the country.

In his appeal, Pope Francis expressed concern for the Afghan people, highlighting the immense human toll that these natural disasters have exacted, with thousands of lives lost, including a significant number of women and children.

The Pope also acknowledged the plight of the displaced persons who have been left in the wake of this calamity.

“I address a special thought to the people of Afghanistan who are suffering in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that has struck, causing thousands of victims (including many women and children) and displaced persons,” the Pope said in his appeal.

Earthquakes

An earthquake, which struck on 8 October, had a magnitude of 7.6 on the Richter scale, making it a significant and destructive seismic event. It occurred in the northern region of the country, near the Hindu Kush mountain range, causing widespread devastation.

The quake’s epicenter was located in a remote and mountainous area, which has further complicated relief efforts.

Many villages in the vicinity were either severely damaged or completely obliterated. This disaster has left thousands dead, injured, or missing, and it has forced countless others to flee their homes in search of safety.

Urgent humanitarian aid is needed for food, clean water, medical supplies, and shelter. The long-term task of rebuilding the affected communities and providing support to the displaced persons will reportedly be substantial.

On Wednesday, another, 6.3-magnitude earthquake shook western Afghanistan in Herat province.

Pope Francis has called upon everyone to unite and contribute to the relief and recovery efforts in Afghanistan, stressing, “I invite all people of good will to help this people already so sorely tried, contributing in a spirit of fraternity to alleviate the suffering of the people and to support the necessary reconstruction.” – Vatican News