The earthquake struck eastern Afghanistan early Wednesday, and the death toll surpassed 1,000 on Thursday with more than 1,500 people injured. The most affected areas are in Spera District in Khost Province, and Barmala, Ziruk, Naka and Gayan districts in Paktika Province.
With the war-ravaged nation already stricken by an economic crisis, the hardline Islamist leadership said sanctions imposed by western countries after the withdrawal of US-led coalition forces last year meant it was handicapped in its ability to deal with the disaster in Khost and Paktika provinces.
UN agencies rush to aid Afghanistan
UNHCR and other UN agencies have deployed staff to the most affected areas in Pakitika and Khost provinces from its field office in Gardez. Currently, the focus is on search and rescue operations to find survivors. There are fears that more lives could be lost if survivors are not reached urgently in remote parts of the country.