QUAKE TOLL IN IRAN WORST IN MORE THAN A DECADE
THE toll from the powerful earthquake that struck Iran on Sunday has reached 445, according to the Iran’s semiofficial 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. Experts said the quake was centred 23.2km below the surface, a shallow depth that can cause broader damage.
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.
Iran is crisscrossed by major fault lines and has suffered several devastating earthquakes in recent years.
Iraq’s Interior Ministry said the earthquake killed at least seven people and injured 535.
A woman mourns as she holds the body of her daughter, who died in an earthquake in Sarpol-e-Zahab, western Iran.