IRAN QUAKE DEATH TOLL HITS 445
The toll from the powerful earthquake that struck Iran on Sunday has reached 445, according to the nation’s semi-official Tasnim News Agency.
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.
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.
Italy is sending 12 tonnes of tents, blankets, mobile kitchens and other assistance to quake victims.