Quake toll in Iran worst in more than a decade

The Cairns Post - - NEWS -

THE toll from a pow­er­ful earth­quake that struck Iran on Sun­day has ex­ceeded 445 and the num­ber is ex­pected to climb sig­nif­i­cantly.

More than 7300 peo­ple have been in­jured by the mag­ni­tude 7.3 quake cen­tred on the Iran-Iraq bor­der 31km out­side the east­ern Iraqi city of Hal­abja. Ex­perts said the quake was cen­tred 23.2km be­low the sur­face.

Lo­cal of­fi­cials said the death toll of Iran’s dead­li­est earth­quake in more than a decade would rise as search and res­cue teams reached re­mote ar­eas to look for peo­ple trapped un­der rub­ble.

More than half the ca­su­al­ties are from the Kur­dish-ma­jor­ity town of Sar­pol-e Za­hab in Ker­man­shah Prov­ince. The only hos­pi­tal in the town was heav­ily dam­aged and the army has set up field hos­pi­tals. Iran’s gov­ern­ment de­clared yes­ter­day a na­tional mourn­ing day.

Iraq’s In­te­rior Min­istry said the earth­quake killed at least seven peo­ple and in­jured 535 in the coun­try’s north­ern Kur­dish re­gion.

Pic­ture: AP

MOTHER'S PAIN: A woman mourns as she holds the body of her daugh­ter, who died in an earth­quake in Sar­pol-e-Za­hab, western Iran.

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