Deadly Quake Kills More Than 400 Ira­ni­ans

Iran News - - ایران نیوز -

TEHRAN - A pow­er­ful 7.3-mag­ni­tude earth­quake s hit the bor­der re­gion be­tween Iran and Iraq, killing 407 peo­ple, al­most all of them in Iran.

The epi­cen­ter of the quake, which oc­curred at around 09:18 pm lo­cal time on Sun­day, was 32 kilo­me­ters south of the Iraqi city of Hal­abja, in Iraqi Kur­dis­tan, and just across the bor­der from Iran, ac­cord­ing to the United States Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey (USGS). But the high­est ca­su­al­ties oc­curred in the town of Sar­pol-e Za­hab, in Iran’s Ker­man­shah Prov­ince. Ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial tal­lies, 4o7 Ira­ni­ans were con­firmed dead as of Mon­day afternoon as it is ex­pected the fig­ure to in­crease. Over 7,100 other were also in­jured.

Dam­age is seen in the Ira­nian town of Qasr-e Shirin, in Ker­man­shah Prov­ince, af­ter a pow­er­ful 7.3-mag­ni­tude earth­quake, on Novem­ber 12, 2017.

The Na­tional Disaster Man­age­ment Or­ga­ni­za­tion of Iran said ear­lier that power cuts had been re­ported in Ker­man­shah Prov­ince. A num­ber of vil­lages in western Iran have also seen de­struc­tion of vary­ing de­grees.

Ira­nian Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani spoke on the phone with Ira­nian In­te­rior Min­is­ter Ab­dol­reza Rah­mani-Fa­zli on Sun­day night, who briefed the pres­i­dent on the lat­est up­dates. Pres­i­dent Rouhani then is­sued the nec­es­sary di­rec­tives to fa­cil­i­tate and ac­cel­er­ate res­cue op­er­a­tions. Three days of mourn­ing have been an­nounced in Ker­man­shah. The earth­quake was felt in cities in sev­eral other Ira­nian prov­inces, in­clud­ing as far away as in the cap­i­tal, Tehran. The quake also shook the Ira­nian prov­inces of Kordestan, Ilam, Khuzes­tan, Hamedan, West Azarbai­jan, East Azarbai­jan, Lorestan, Qazvin, Zan­jan, and Qom.

Tremors were felt in other re­gional coun­tries, in­clud­ing Turkey, Kuwait, Ar­me­nia, Jor­dan, Le­banon, Saudi Ara­bia, Qatar, and Bahrain. But the ca­su­al­ties and dam­age were limited to Iran and Iraq. Rah­mani-Fa­zli, the in­te­rior min­is­ter and Health Min­is­ter Has­san Ghaz­izadeh Hashemi have al­ready flown to Ker­man­shah to per­son­ally su­per­vise the res­cue op­er­a­tions.

The chief com­man­der of the Is­lamic Rev­o­lu­tion Guards Corps (IRGC), Major Gen­eral Mo­ham­mad Ali Ja­fari, also trav­eled to the re­gion. First re­spon­ders have been us­ing snif­fer dogs to look for po­ten­tial sur­vivors under the rub­ble. Hos­pi­tals in Tehran have been put on alert to treat those of the wounded who are trans­ferred to the cap­i­tal. At least 43 am­bu­lances, four am­bu­lance buses, and 130 emer­gency tech­ni­cians have been sta­tioned in the Mehrabad Air­port in Tehran for a quick trans­fer of the vic­tims to hos­pi­tals.

Over 100 medics have also been dis­patched to the af­fected ar­eas. The Ira­nian Air Force, too, has de­ployed he­li­copters to ac­cel­er­ate the trans­fer of the wounded.

Mean­while, for­eign dig­ni­taries have been of­fer­ing con­do­lences to and sym­pa­thies with the Ira­nian gov­ern­ment and peo­ple over the earth­quake.

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