The death toll from an earthquake in eastern Afghanistan has surpassed 1-thousand, while over 15-hundred people have been injured.
The country's disaster management officials say the toll is expected to grow as information comes in from remote villages.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake hit at around 1:30 AM local time on Wednesday, around 44 kilometers from the city of Khost, located near the Pakistani border.
As helicopters landed in the area to rescue people, residents recounted the moment disaster hit.
"It was about midnight when the quake struck. It destroyed the houses of our neighbors. When we arrived there were many dead and wounded. They sent us to the hospital. I also saw many dead bodies."
As rescue work continues in the region, a UN official says lack of access and communication could pose the biggest challenge.
"So, having a humanitarian operation put in place is going to be immediately challenged by the lack of easy access to the area, to the region, and I think that is going to be probably one of the big challenges.”
Another UN envoy estimates that over 2-thousand homes have been destroyed by the quake, and noted that in some cases several families were living in a single house.
This means the actual toll could be even higher than what has been reported so far.
The earthquake comes at a time when people are already leading difficult lives in the country, amid a humanitarian disaster made worse by the Taliban takeover in August 2021.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.