The horror quake struck on Wednesday monring around 27 miles (44km) from the city of Khost, not far from the border with Pakistan, at a depth of 31.6 miles (51km), according to the US Geological Survey. Shaking could also be felt in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Up to 280 people have now been confirmed dead.
The majority of the confirmed deaths were in the eastern Afghan province of Paktika, where al least 255 people were killed and more than 200 injured, according to interior ministry official Salahuddin Ayubi.
The Barmala, Ziruk, Naka and Gayan districts were particularly badly affected.
Mr Ayubi added that 25 people in the Khost province have been killed, and 90 taken to hospital.
He said: “The death toll is likely to rise as some of the villages are in remote areas in the mountains and it will take some time to collect details
Local officials warned this morning that the death toll will rise if the central government does not provide emergency help, Afghanistan’s state-run news agency Bakhtar reported.
But the authorities have now launched a rescue mission using helicopters to reach the injured and to deliver food and medical supplies to the affected areas.
This is a breaking story. More to follow.