Taliban and Iranian foreign ministers on Monday held a phone call to discuss the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes that struck Afghanistan’s northwestern Herat province on Saturday.
Offering “condolences and sympathies,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir- Amirabdollahian promised humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, according to a statement by the Afghan Foreign Ministry controlled by Taliban.
Taliban acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi briefed his Iranian counterpart on the latest situation in the region, said Hafiz Zia Ahmad, a deputy spokesman for the Afghan Foreign Ministry.
Amir-Abdollahian expressed “readiness to cooperate and promised humanitarian aid to victims,” said Ahmad.
“To end, both counterparts stressed fostering and strengthening the political and economic relations and cooperation between the two countries,” he added.
According to the US Geological Survey, strong earthquakes of magnitude 5.5, 5.9, and 6.2 jolted Herat on Saturday. It said the epicenter was 40 kilometers (24.8 miles) northwest of the Herat city.
The death toll from the massive earthquakes that hit the northwestern part of Afghanistan has exceeded 2,500, an official said on Sunday.
“According to the officials of the Ministry of Disaster Management, the number of martyrs due to the earthquake in Herat has exceeded 2,500,” Khalid Zadran, a spokesman for Kabul police, said on X.
“Aid teams are working in the area. The affected people in the area still need shelter and food,” Zadran added.
However, the UN Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) in Afghanistan said in a brief statement on X that 1,023 people were killed due to the earthquakes but the figure is “likely to rise.”
It added 516 people were missing, while 1,663 others were injured.
The UNOCHA also said earthquakes affected 11,585 people, which constitute 1,655 families.
Meanwhile, the Red Cross Society of China said it would provide the Afghan Red Crescent with $200,000 in cash as emergency humanitarian assistance to aid its rescue and disaster relief efforts in Herat.