Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Iran-Iraq quake death toll hits 430 in Iran

Iran-Iraq quake death toll hits 430 in Iran

As the surviving families spend a second night outdoors in the mountainous cold, the authorities might yet have to contend with a new set of grievances. The country's president, Hassan Rouhani, travelled on Tuesday to Kermanshah, the area hardest hit and a day of mourning was announced.

"People in some villages are still in dire need of food, water and shelter", governor of Qasr-e Shirin Faramarz Akbari told state television.

President Hassan Rouhani, visiting the region, said state-built houses suffered more damage, and those responsible would be held accountable.

Around 15,500 Iranian homes have been destroyed and another 15,000 damaged in the quake, according to official estimates. Seven towns and almost 2,000 villages were damaged, authorities said, and several villages were completely wiped from the map.

The quake, centred in Penjwin in Iraq's Sulaimaniyah province in the Kurdistan region, killed at least six people in Iraq and injured more than 68. Iraq's Red Crescent put the toll at nine dead.

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At least 14 provinces in Iran were affected.

State television aired footage of weeping villagers carrying away bodies wrapped in bloodied blankets and bed sheets and scrabbling with their bare hands through rubble in search of friends and relatives.

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Head of emergency medical services Pirhossein Koulivand said it was "difficult to send rescue teams to the villages because the roads have been cut off - there have been landslides". "The authorities should speed up their help", she said.

He added that "psychological support teams" had been sent to these areas. Numerous villages affected by quake were very remote and hard to reach, said Bagheri.

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Numerous heavily damaged complexes in the badly-hit border town of Sarpol-e-Zahab were part of construction projects under former hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Red Crescent reported that 12,000 residential buildings had collapsed and more than 500 villages had been affected, with tens of thousands homeless. The Iranian government and surrounding countries have mobilized into action to provide immediate natural disaster relief.

The region has regular earthquakes and last night's struck along a 930-mile fault line between the Arabian and Eurasian tectonic plates, which runs through western Iran and into Iraq's northeast.

The area sees frequent seismic activity.

Iranian weightlifter Kianoush Rostami has reportedly agreed to make a one-of-a-kind donation to help his hometown of Kermanshah, Iran, recover from a 7.3-magnitude quake that left hundreds dead and thousand injured this weekend.

Villages and cities near the quake are suffering from widespread power outages and destruction of property. More than 100 aftershocks followed the quake.

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