The Taliban-run administration in Afghanistan has called for international assistance amid ongoing rescue operations following the devastating earthquake Wednesday in the eastern area of the Asian country.
In the 5.9-magnitude earthquake that jolted parts of Afghanistan including the capital city Kabul early Wednesday, more than 1,000 people including women and children have been confirmed dead and over 1,500 others injured in Paktika and the neighboring Khost provinces.
Paktika's provincial head of information and culture department Mohammad Amin Haddifa has confirmed more than 1,000 killed and over 1,500 injured in Gayan and Barmal districts of the tremor-stricken province.
Villagers told Xinhua that they were still searching for their loved ones under the debris in the quake-affected areas. The earthquake has left hundreds of houses ruined.
Hours after the quake, Acting Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund convened an emergency cabinet meeting Wednesday morning, ordered the allocation of 1 billion afghanis (about 11.2 million U.S. dollars) to assist the victims' families.
The affected people have been living in tents, and some struggling to shift the injured to hospitals due to congested and dusty roads.
Haibatullah Akhundzada, the supreme leader of the Taliban-run administration, has sought assistance from the international community.
"In addition to utilizing all resources within our capability, I am also seeking the support of the international community, aid agencies and humanitarian bodies to assist the quake-affected Afghans in this critical juncture," Akhundzada twitted.
Countries including China, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey have pledged humanitarian assistance to quake-affected areas in the war-torn Afghanistan.