The search for survivors in the mountainous highlands of the southeast was called off on Friday, as a senior official said Afghanistan lacked the medical supplies to treat the injured from the earthquake that killed 1,000 people.
According to Mohammad Nassim Haqqani, a spokesperson for the disaster ministry, the early Wednesday earthquake injured almost 2,000 people and destroyed 10,000 homes entirely or partially.
It’s a major calamity, so we need medical aid and other essentials, he added, adding that the health ministry is short on medications.
The 6.1-magnitude earthquake occurred around 160 km (100 miles) southeast of Kabul, close to the Pakistani border, in an area of sparsely populated, arid mountains that has been a frequent battleground during Afghanistan’s decades-long conflict.
Relief efforts have been impeded in a nation dealing with a humanitarian catastrophe that grew significantly after the Taliban took control last August when US-led international forces withdrew.
The catastrophe is a significant test for the hardline Islamists, who have been mostly marginalised, rejected by many due to concerns about human rights, and excluded from most direct international support due to sanctions.
On Thursday, aid-sending plans were announced by Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates. The border has already been breached by supplies from Pakistan.
In order to be delivered to international humanitarian organisations, India, which has a tense relationship with the Taliban, claimed to have transported 27 tonnes of supplies on two planes.
About 48 hours after the incident, according to Haqqani, the hunt for survivors has been suspended.
He declared, “The search effort is over.
He gave no further justification. After even longer periods of time, people have been found alive in the wreckage of other earthquakes.
A tectonic plate known as the Indian plate is pushing against the Eurasian plate from the north, which is causing seismic activity across significant portions of South Asia.
In 2015, an earthquake in the far-flung northeast of Afghanistan killed hundreds of people there as well as in neighbouring northern Pakistan.