Devastating tremors in Iran and Iraq: the death toll is growing rapidly
Devastating tremors in Iran and Iraq: the death toll is growing rapidly
Quake Damages 8 Cities, 526 Villages in Western Iranian Province: Official
15 November, 2017, 01:09
The 7.3 magnitude quake was centred about 19 miles outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja at about 6.20pm United Kingdom time on Sunday.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani launched an investigation Tuesday into why government housing built by his hard-line predecessor collapsed while others withstood a powerful quake near the border with Iraq that killed more than 530 people.
Rescuers are digging through the debris of buildings felled by an quake that killed more than 430 people in the border region of Iran and Iraq.
As of Monday, over 100 medics have been sent to devastated areas of Iran.
Some had spent Sunday night outdoors after fleeing their homes in the mountainous cross-border region, huddling around fires at dawn as authorities sent in help.
Maj Gen Mohammad Ali Jafari, head of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), said that the immediate needs were tents, water and food.
In the Kurdish town of Sarpol-e-Zahab, which was reconstructed in the decades since the 1980s war with Iraq, the outer walls of apartment complexes tumbled away in the magnitude 7.3 natural disaster Sunday night.
"Other buildings near our apartment are not damaged as much because they were built privately", said Ferdows Shahbazi, 42, who lived in one of the Mehr buildings.
But by late afternoon, officials said all the roads in Kermanshah province had been re-opened, although the worst-affected town of Sar-e Pol-e Zahab remained without electricity, said state television.
"We are living in a tent and we don't have enough food or water", he said.
The report Tuesday afternoon by the IRNA news agency said the number of injured in the temblor now stood at 7,460.
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Following the occurrence of the quake, Relief and Rescue Organisation of the Iranian Red Crescent Society in the first phase of its response operation deployed 16 response teams, 31 sniffer dog teams, 41 debris removing teams, 48 emergency sheltering teams and 9 emergency treatment teams to the affected cities of Qasre-Shirin, Gilane-Garb, Kermanshah, Sare-Pule-Zahab, Salase-Babajani, Dalahoo, Islamabad- E- Gharb, and Javanrood.
At least 280 people were killed in the town, home to some 85,000 people, where crumpled vehicles lay under the rubble of flattened buildings on the streets.
In neighbouring Dalahoo County, several villages were totally destroyed, an official told Tasnim agency.
A Tehran cinema said it would donate half of its receipts to relief efforts, and the capital's two football teams said they were sending hundreds of tents and blankets.
Hospitals in nearby provinces took in numerous injured, state television said, airing footage of survivors waiting to be treated.
"We have been here for two days with nothing".
"There were eight people inside", the 34-year-old Iraqi Kurd said. It was one of the strongest on earth this year as well as the deadliest. The apartment complexes sit next to lush pastures in the nearly entirely Kurdish province of Kermanshah, nestled in the Zagros Mountains along the border with Iraq. "The authorities should speed up their help", she said.
It was also felt in southeastern Turkey, an AFP correspondent said. A further 70,000 are reported to be homeless.
Britain, France, Germany, Russia and Syria offered their condolences, while Pope Francis called the quake a "tragedy" and expressed his "prayerful solidarity" with victims.
The area sees frequent seismic activity.
More than 316 people were killed in the town of Sarpol-e Zahab alone, about 15km from the Iraqi border.
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But the governor of Qasr-e Shirin, Faramarz Akbari, said only two people had died in the town and 25 others were injured. Geological Survey says the quake was centered around 19 miles (31 kilometers) outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja.
Iran was sowing strife, destruction and ruin wherever it went and accused it of a "deep hatred for the Arab nation", he said. The government's collapse complicates preparations for next year's parliamentary elections, Lebanon's first since 2009.
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