Iran quake death toll tops 450

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

POURIA PAK­IZEH / AGENCE FRANCEPRESSE

In Sar­pol-e-Za­hab, Iran, where the most dam­age was re­ported, res­cuers work on Mon­day amid the rub­ble to find sur­vivors.

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