Death toll climbs at Iran-Iraq bor­der

Truro Daily News - - World -

Res­cuers on Tues­day used back­hoes and heavy equip­ment to dig through the de­bris of build­ings top­pled by a pow­er­ful earth­quake on the bor­der be­tween Iran and Iraq that killed over 530 peo­ple, with weep­ing women cry­ing out to God as aid work­ers found new bod­ies.

The grim work be­gan in earnest again at dawn in the Kur­dish town of Sar­pol-e-Za­hab in the western Ira­nian province of Ker­man­shah, which ap­pears to be the hard­est hit in the mag­ni­tude 7.3 earth­quake.

Ker­man­shah, an al­most en­tirely Kur­dish province nes­tled in the Za­gros Moun­tains that run along the bor­der with Iraq, suf­fered all of Iran’s fa­tal­i­ties from the tem­blor Sun­day that shook 14 of the coun­try’s 31 provinces.

Both res­cuers and lo­cal res­i­dents alike stood atop the re­mains of apart­ment com­plexes Tues­day, look­ing through the rub­ble. They used heavy blan­kets to carry away corpses.

The hos­pi­tal in Sar­pol-e-Za­hab was heav­ily dam­aged, and the army set up field hos­pi­tals, al­though many of the in­jured were moved to other ci­ties, in­clud­ing Tehran. The quake also dam­aged an army gar­ri­son and build­ings in the bor­der city and killed an un­spec­i­fied num­ber of sol­diers, ac­cord­ing to re­ports.

There are fears more dead could be in the rub­ble in Sar­pole-Za­hab and other ru­ral vil­lages of Ker­man­shah province. Mo­ham­mad Ali Mon­shizadeh, a spokesman for the provin­cial foren­sic depart­ment, said pos­si­bly as many as 150 peo­ple were buried by fam­ily mem­bers.

AP PHOTO

A res­cue worker walks past the rub­ble of a col­lapsed build­ing at an earth­quake site Tues­day in Sar­pol-e-Za­hab in western Iran.

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