An aftershock hit eastern Afghanistan as the death toll from the quake rose to 1,150.

An aftershock rocked a hard-hit area of ​​eastern Afghanistan two days after the quake destroyed hundreds of mud-brick houses and killed at least 1,150 people.

The meteorological department of pakistan reported a 4.2 magnitude earthquake in southeastern Afghanistan, which killed five more people in the hard-hit Gayan region and injured 11 people, according to the state news agency Bakhtar.

The country of 38 million people was already in the midst of a growing economic crisis that had plunged millions into deep poverty and more than a million children at risk of severe malnutrition.

An earthquake of magnitude six left thousands of people homeless.

State media reported that about 3,000 homes were destroyed or badly damaged in Wednesday’s earthquake.

Aid organizations such as the local Red Crescent and the World Food Program intervened to help the most vulnerable families with food and other urgent needs such as tents and sleeping mats in Paktika province, the epicenter of the earthquake, and neighboring Khost province.


A man among the destruction in the village of Gayan. (Ebrahim Nuruzi/AP)

However, the residents seem to have largely dealt with the fallout themselves as their new Taliban-led government and the international aid community struggle to provide assistance.

The villagers buried their dead and dug through the rubble by hand in search of survivors.

Taliban director of the state news agency Bakhtar said on Friday that the death toll had risen to 1,150 from previous reports of 1,000 killed.

Abdul Wahid Rayyan said at least 1,600 people were injured.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs puts the death toll at 770.

It was not clear how the death toll was achieved, given the difficulty of accessing and communicating with the affected villages.

Any one of those horrific casualties would make Afghanistan’s deadliest earthquake in two decades.

The earthquake damaged at least 1,000 houses in the Gayan region.

Another 800 houses were damaged in the Spera district of the Khost region.


Afghan children stand in front of a tent after an earthquake. (Ebrahim Nuruzi/AP)

While modern buildings elsewhere can withstand magnitude six earthquakes, Afghan mud-brick houses and landslide-prone mountains make such earthquakes more dangerous.

In villages across the Gayan District visited by the Associated Press for several hours Thursday, families who had spent the previous rainy night outdoors lifted pieces of collapsed roofs and manually hauled out rocks in search of missing loved ones.

Taliban fighters moved through the area in vehicles, but only a few people were seen helping to dig the rubble.

There were few signs of heavy equipment – only one bulldozer was seen in transit.

Ambulances drove by, but there was no other help for the living.

Many international aid agencies withdrew from Afghanistan when the Taliban took over last August.

Those who remain are trying to get medical supplies, food and tents to remote earthquake-hit areas using poor mountain roads made worse by damage and rain.


A man stands amid the destruction in the village of Gayan in Paktika province. (Ebrahim Nuruzi/AP)

UN agencies are also facing a £2.44bn funding gap for Afghanistan this year.

Germany, Norway and a number of other countries have announced they are sending earthquake aid, but stressed that they will only work through UN agencies and not with the Taliban, who have not yet been officially recognized by any government.

Trucks loaded with food and other essentials arrived from Pakistan, while humanitarian aid planes landed from Iran and Qatar.

India sent humanitarian aid and a technical team to the capital Kabul to coordinate the delivery of humanitarian aid.

India says its aid will be shared with the UN agency on the ground and the Afghan Red Crescent Society.

In the province of Paktika, an earthquake has shaken a region of deep poverty where residents barely make ends meet in a few fertile areas amid rugged mountains.

The roads are so difficult that some villages in the Gayan region could be reached in a whole day from Kabul, although it is only 110 miles away.

One six-year-old boy in Gayane was crying, saying that his parents, two sisters and a brother were dead.

He fled the ruins of his own house and took refuge with his neighbors.