Wails echoed across what was left of the village when the ambulance arrived. Inside was the body of a 12-year-old girl, Roqia. She had died in a nearby hospital Tuesday morning, days after a devastating earthquake hit this stretch of northwestern Afghanistan and sent her mud-brick home crashing down on top of her.

The vehicle drove to the top of a nearby hill where mounds of dirt marked around 70 freshly dug graves. A crowd of men gathered and opened its back door, gently pulling out the girl, whose small frame was wrapped in a thick, white blanket.

Seeing her, her uncle, Shir Ahmad, stumbled backward. "Oh God, oh God,” he cried, gasping for breath. A man slipped his arms around his back to steady him as he sank to the ground in sobs.