Afghanistan seeks help for earthquake survivors as aftershock kills five

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Afghanistan lacks the medical supplies to treat those injured in an earthquake that killed 1,000 people this week, a senior official said, as an aftershock on Friday killed five more.

Authorities earlier ended a search in remote southeastern mountains for survivors of the 6.1 magnitude earthquake that struck early on Wednesday near the Pakistani border, about 160 km (100 miles) southeast of Kabul, the capital.

Friday s aftershock, in almost exactly the same place, was of magnitude 4.3, the U.S. Geological Survey said. A health ministry official said it killed five people, but there was no immediate word on the extent of new damage and injuries.

About 2,000 people were injured and 10,000 homes partially or entirely destroyed in Wednesday s earthquake, Mohammad Nassim Haqqani, a spokesperson for the disaster ministry, told Reuters.
“The health ministry does not have enough drugs,” he said. “We need medical aid and other necessities because it s a big disaster.”

The epicentre of the earthquake was in a region of arid mountains dotted with small settlements that was often the scene of clashes during Afghanistan s decades of war.

Poor communications and only very basic roads have hampered relief efforts in a country grappling with a humanitarian crisis that deteriorated sharply after the Taliban took over last August as U.S.-led international forces withdrew.

TALIBAN TEST

The disaster is a major test for the hard line Islamist rulers, who have been largely isolated, shunned by many because of worries about human rights and cut off from much direct international assistance because of sanctions.

On Thursday, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates all said they planned to send aid. Supplies from Pakistan have already crossed the border.

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