At least 15 dead as three earthquakes rock world and reduce buildings to rubble

The world has been left shaken after three separate earthquakes devastated different regions in just over three hours.

A 6.3 magnitude earthquake was recorded in Mexico at 11pm local time on Friday, October 6 (5am Saturday GMT). A second, 5.6 magnitude tremor then struck Afghanistan just an hour and a half later at around 11am local time (6.30am GMT).

Papua New Guinea was the third country affected after a 6.7 quake was felt at around 7.30pm (8.30am GMT). All of the casualties reported so far were from the Afghanistan quake.

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Afghanistan's earthquake struck around 25 miles northwest of Herat, which saw residents in the country's third-largest city take to the streets. Aftershocks of magnitudes 5.5, 4.7, 6.3 and 5.9 were also felt.

Business owners and residents fled their homes and shops after the quake first hit. Between the initial quake and its aftershocks, which lasted roughly an hour, at least 15 people have been killed – although it is believed the real death toll could be in the hundreds, according to the USGS.

"Significant casualties are likely and the disaster is potentially widespread. Past events with this alert level have required a regional or national level response," the organisation said in a preliminary report.

Taking to X (formerly Twitter), the World Health Organisation (WHO) expressed its condolences for the people affected by the quake. "WHO extends our thoughts to the people of Herat, Afghanistan who have been affected by the earthquake today," the organisation wrote.

"We have sent medicines & medical supplies to the hospitals to support treatment of those wounded.

"Our warehouse is ready to deploy for additional medicines as needed."

The natural disaster in Mexico was most strongly felt in Matias Romero, Oaxaca State, but the tremors were strong enough to set off car alarms in Mexico City – a whopping 227 miles away.

No deaths have been recorded but infrastructure has been damaged, including one section of motorway to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec – a narrow stretch of land separating the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

The city of Oaxaca was also in disarray following the quakes, with residents suffering power outages.. One hospital was left with cracked walls.

Miraculously, there were no immediate reports of damage following northeastern Papua New Guinea's quake, despite it being the strongest of the three. The country is used to frequent tremors, most of which don't cause significant damage.

An aftershock measuring the same magnitude was felt off the coast of Madang moments after the initial incident, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported.

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