Herat earthquake damages historic sites

HERAT CITY (SW) – Officials at the Department of Information and Culture of Herat say that as a result of the earthquakes of the past few days, many reservoirs and historical places in this province have been damaged.

Ahmadullah Muttaqi, the head of information and culture in Herat, says that there are no historical monuments in this province that were not damaged by the earthquake. He added that they are trying to restore all the historical sites as soon as possible. “In this tragedy, not only people were harmed, but the historical sites have also been damaged. Herat Grand Mosque has been damaged in many places.”

At the same time, a number of educators in Herat want to restore the historical sites destroyed by the earthquake in this province.

Mohammad Sadiq Mir, one of the cultural activists in Herat, says that the damages caused to historical monuments by recent earthquakes in this province were unprecedented in the last century. He said: “I went to the old city of Herat myself, there was no place that was not damaged. Everywhere I went, it was damaged in some way and they should be taken care of.”

On the other hand, a number of tile-making masters in Herat Grand Mosque say that due to the lack of employees, the production of tiles required for the reconstruction of historical places takes more than a year.

Omid Niknam, one of the tile makers in this province, said that three types of tiles called “Heftrang, Maraq and Moghnes” were used for the historical places, and the most damage was done to Maraq tiles. He said: “Most of the tiles that have collapsed and that we have closely examined are mosaic tiles. 85% of the mosaic tiles were made, which were more vulnerable and collapsed.”

They add that due to the lack of tile makers in this province, they can only make two types of tiles.

Bashir Ahmad Faqiri, another master of tile making, says: “Currently, we see that most of the tiles that have collapsed are stained, and we are the only four masters who are working, and these four people cannot make all the tiles.”

It should be noted that the strong earthquakes that occurred in Herat in the past week, in addition to the loss of lives and huge financial losses, also caused serious damage to the reservoirs and historical places in this province.