UN aid agencies sent emergency supplies to northern Afghanistan's Nahrin district after a series of earthquakes there. The quakes flattened a district capital and several villages.

Winter clothing, blankets, tents, food and body bags were among the items dispatched to the region after the quakes, which struck late on Monday night and early today, the UN said.

Two of the three roads serving the area have been blocked by quake damage, leaving the road from Kilaghai as the sole access route, the UN added. The affected region is about 100 miles east of the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

About 1,800 people were killed by the quakes, with 1,200 bodies counted so far, and nearly 4,000 were injured, according to estimates cited by the UN. Some 1,500 homes were destroyed and 20,000 people left without shelter.

The European Commission said its aid agency has started sending tents and shelters to the region. The Third World Development Agency, Concern, which has a base in the neighbouring province of Talakhan, is among several agencies helping with relief efforts.

Afghan leader Hamid Karzai has postponed a planned visit to Turkey in order to chair an emergency government meeting to discuss ways to deal with the disaster.