News Worms
News Worms


Devastating tremors in Iran and Iraq: the death toll is growing rapidly

Devastating tremors in Iran and Iraq: the death toll is growing rapidly

The 7.3-magnitude quake struck in the remote border area between Iran and Iraq late Sunday and left thousands of people injured and hundreds of villages destroyed.

The quake struck on the Iran-Iraq border, causing most of its damage in Iran despite an epicentre on the Iraq side of the frontier.

The IRNA news agency said Rouhani made the remarks while touring the quake-hit Iranian Kurdish town of Sarpol-e Zahab yesterday.

The country's president, Hassan Rouhani, travelled on Tuesday to Kermanshah, the area hardest hit by the natural disaster, which sent tremors felt hundreds of kilometres away in both Tehran and Baghdad. But in the more isolated and worst-hit Sunni localities, Sunni charities-including those of Islah and Dawa Group, an Iranian Islamist group close to the Muslim Brotherhood-were said to have arrived on the scene first with tents and water.

Akbari said that in addition to medicine, water and food, the city needs 6,000 blankets and tents for emergency settlements for the people of two nearby towns and 25 villages devastated by the natural disaster.

At least 14 provinces in Iran were affected.

"People in some villages are still in dire need of food, water and shelter", said the governor of Qasr-e Shirin county in Kermanshah province, Faramarz Akbari.

Nine people were killed in Iraq and 550 were injured, all in the country's northern, semiautonomous Kurdish region, according to the United Nations.

Kermanshah's provincial officials said about 12,000 houses both in urban and rural regions across the province have been totally damaged due to the strong quake.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif thanked foreign countries offering to help but wrote on Twitter: "For now, we are able to manage with our own resources".

He added that "psychological support teams" had been sent to these areas. Initial Iranian government estimates suggest the quake destroyed 12,000 apartments and free-standing homes, and damaged 15,000 others.

The mayor of Ezgeleh, a city in Kermanshah, said 80 percent of its buildings had collapsed.

"People are hungry and thirsty", a local man told ISNA news agency.

She said now that rescue operations had ended, the priority was getting people into shelters as quickly as possible, and that the delivery of aid was on track.

"More people will die because of cold".

In Sarpol-e Zahab, he asked: "Who is to be blamed for this?"

Iran is crisscrossed by major fault lines and has suffered several devastating earthquakes in recent years, including a 6.6 magnitude quake in 2003 that reduced the historic southeastern city of Bam to dust and killed some 31,000 people.

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