Vital medical supplies reached hospitals on Saturday (June 25) in the remote area of Afghanistan hit by an earthquake that killed more than 1,000 people this week, as the country's Taliban government appealed for more international aid.
Authorities have called off the search for survivors in the mountainous south-eastern region near the Pakistani border following's Wednesday's 6.1-magnitude quake, which also injured about 2,000 people and damaged or destroyed 10,000 homes. Aftershocks on Friday killed at least five more people in the area some 160km south-east of the capital, Kabul, and medical staff said rudimentary healthcare facilities were hampering their efforts to help the injured.
"Those injured that were in a bad condition and needed operations, (which) we can't do here, have been sent to Kabul," said Mr Abrar, who goes by one name, the manager of a hospital in Paktika, the worst-affected province.
The disaster is a major test for Afghanistan's hardline Taliban rulers, who have been shunned by many foreign governments since they seized control of the country last year due to concerns about human rights.
Afghanistan has been cut off from much direct international assistance because of Western sanctions, deepening a humanitarian crisis in swathes of the country even before this week's earthquake. The United Nations and several other countries have rushed aid to the affected areas, with more due to arrive over the coming days, and the Taliban appealed on Saturday for further aid shipments to help quake victims.
"We call on all humanitarian organisations to help the people," said Mr Mohammad Amen Hozifa, a spokesperson for the Paktika provincial government. China's Foreign Ministry said on Saturday the nation would provide humanitarian aid worth 50 million yuan (S$10.39 million) to Afghanistan including tents, towels, beds and other materials to help those affected by the earthquake.