Toll in Iran-Iraq quake rises to 530

15 November, 2017, 00:41 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Strong Quake Jolts Western Iran

Iran's Kermanshah province, where most of the damage occurred, is home to both Shia and Sunni Muslims.

The epicenter of the quake was recorded near Ezgeleh, Iran, about 135 miles northeast of Baghdad in Iraq. Searchers used dogs to comb the debris - just as they have since Iran's 2003 quake in Bam that killed 26,000 people - although some clerics insist the animals are unclean.

Local health minister Rekawt Rasheed said the situation was "critical", made worse by the fact that the district's main hospital was badly damaged and without power.

The area, about 10 miles from the border with Iraq, is in the Kermanshah province.

The Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicraft Department dispatched several cultural heritage task forces to determine the extent of [possible] damage to each monument, the official said, adding that the five sites can be restored.

"The weather is turning colder now. We had to leave without being able to help them".

"Even in Sarpol-e Zahab, there were not enough tents and goods for the affected people", said the reporter.

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 quake Sunday night.

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"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.

"I call on all governmental and military officials and all NGOs to help the Housing Foundation and do not do separate work".

"I want to assure those who are suffering that the government has begun to act with all means at its disposal and is scrambling to resolve this problem as quickly as possible", he said, as reported by AFP.

Maj Gen Mohammad Ali Jafari, head of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), said that the immediate needs were tents, water and food.

Official estimates put the death toll at more than 500. Numerous villages affected by quake were very remote and hard to reach, said Bagheri. Iranian army helicopters are taking part in the relief effort. Bagheri estimated that 70,000 people could be affected by the natural disaster.

The Iranian Red Crescent said many areas lacked water and electricity and that aid supplies were being hampered by roads blocked by landslides.

While visiting the region on Tuesday, a national day of mourning, President Hassan Rouhani pointed out that many privately-built homes appeared to have been spared damage.

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