Iran quake death toll tops 450
Thousands of homeless Iranians huddled against the cold late on Monday, a day after at least 450 people were killed in Iran’s deadliest earthquake in more than a decade, state TV said.
Rescue teams kept up search operations for dozens trapped beneath the rubble of collapsed houses in towns and villages in the mountainous area of the western province of Kermanshah that borders Iraq.
Iran’s English-language Press TV said more than 450 people were killed and 7,000 were injured when the magnitude 7.3 earthquake jolted the country on Sunday.
Local officials expected the death toll to climb as search and rescue teams reached remote areas of Iran.
The quake was felt in several provinces of Iran but the hardest hit province was Kermanshah with a population of 85,000. More than 300 of the victims were in Sarpol-e Zahab county in that province, about 10 miles from the Iraq border.
Iranian media reported that a woman and her baby were pulled out alive from the rubble on Monday in Sarpol-e Zahab.
Iranian state television said the quake had caused heavy damage in some villages where houses were made of earthen bricks.
Relief workers said while much aid had been pledged, there was an immediate need for blankets, children’s clothes, medicine and large cans to store drinking water.
Across the area, rescue workers and special teams using sniffer dogs and heat sensors searched wreckage. Blocked roads made it hard for rescue workers to reach some remote villages.
“The main problem is sheltering people at this cold weather. We need more tents,” Qasr-e Shririn governor Faramarz Akbari told TV.
In Sarpol-e-Zahab, Iran, where the most damage was reported, rescuers work on Monday amid the rubble to find survivors.