Deadly quake claims hun­dreds of lives

World dig­ni­taries of­fer their heart­felt con­do­lences

Tehran Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Maryam Qare­hgo­zlou

TEHRAN — Dig­ni­taries from around the world of­fered their heart­felt con­do­lences over the deadly quake which jolted Iran’s west­ern prov­ince of Ker­man­shah on Sun­day night lo­cal time.

By Mon­day night 450 were re­ported dead and more than 6,700 in­jured from the mag­ni­tude 7.3 earth­quake that had hit Ker­man­shah prov­ince.

Ac­cord­ing to the Ira­nian Seis­mo­log­i­cal Cen­ter, the in­ci­dent oc­curred at 9:48 pm lo­cal time. The epi­cen­ter of the earth­quake which struck at a depth of 11 kilo­me­ters was Ezgeleh, a bor­der town ad­ja­cent to Iraq.

Fol­low­ing the dev­as­tat­ing earth­quake, Supreme Leader Ay­a­tol­lah Seyyed Ali Khamenei sent his sin­cere con­do­lences to the fam­i­lies of the de­ceased.

“I sadly re­ceived news about an earth­quake in the west­ern part of the coun­try, which re­sulted in the death and in­jury of a num­ber of dear fel­low coun­try­men and caused a lot of dam­age.”

The Leader also urged all of­fi­cials, mil­i­tary and civil­ian forces along with pub­lic or­ga­ni­za­tions, to “rush to the aid of those af­fected in these early hours [af­ter the in­ci­dent].”

“Con­vey­ing sin­cere con­do­lences to Govern­ment and Peo­ple of Iran fol­low­ing last night’s deadly earth­quake on west­ern bor­der. Sit­u­a­tion was un­clear around mid­night, now, as the sun rises this morn­ing, we know more about the num­ber of dead/in­jured. UN will as­sist if re­quested,” UN Res­i­dent Co­or­di­na­tor in Iran Gary Lewis said in his Twit­ter mes­sage which was re­leased on Mon­day.

In a state­ment, Ir­ish Pres­i­dent Michael D Hig­gins also ex­tended his sym­pa­thies to those af­fected by the earth­quake. “May they re­ceive the ur­gent as­sis­tance, and the sol­i­dar­ity, they need from the global com­mu­nity and their in­sti­tu­tions,” he said.

Bri­tish Am­bas­sador to Iran Ni­cholas Hop­ton wrote on his twit­ter “So sad to hear of the ter­ri­ble earth­quake in Ker­man­shah last night. My con­do­lences to the fam­i­lies of those killed and sym­pa­thy to all af­fected.”

Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan of­fered con­do­lences to the vic­tims of the earth­quake, say­ing “I wish a speedy re­cov­ery to the peo­ple of Iraq and Iran af­ter an earth­quake that hap­pened in north­ern Iraq yes­ter­day night, [and] I of­fer my con­do­lences.”

Er­do­gan said Turk­ish aid agen­cies, in­clud­ing the Dis­as­ter and Emer­gency Man­age­ment Author­ity (AFAD) and Red Cres­cent, were con­duct­ing search-and-res­cue ef­forts in the af­fected re­gion.

In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi con­doled the loss of lives in the dev­as­tat­ing earth­quake. “My thoughts are with all those who have lost their loved ones in the tragic earth­quake that has af­fected parts of Iran and Iraq. I pray that those in­jured re­cover at the ear­li­est,” Modi tweeted.

Bri­tish For­eign Min­is­ter Boris John­son also ex­pressed his deep­est con­do­lences, say­ing, “The UK stands ready to help the vic­tims and the re­cov­ery ef­fort”.

Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau ex­pressed his con­do­lences on Twit­ter.

“Cana­di­ans of­fer their deep­est sym­pa­thies to the fam­i­lies af­fected by the earth­quake in the re­gion,” he said.

“Con­vey sin­cere con­do­lences of Ger­many to the Govern­ment and the Peo­ple of Iran on oc­ca­sion of the deadly earth­quake in west­ern parts of Iran. Our thoughts are with the vic­tims and their fam­i­lies.”

Ger­man Am­bas­sador to Iran Michael Klor-Ber­ch­told wrote on his twit­ter that “Ger­many ready to help if needed.”

Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin said in a mes­sage pub­lished on the Krem­lin’s web­site that “Please ac­cept sin­cere sym­pa­thy and sup­port for the rel­a­tives and friends of those who per­ished and wishes of early con­va­les­cence to all sur­vivors of this calamity”.

UN Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral An­to­nio Guter­res of­fered his con­do­lences to the govern­ment and peo­ple of Iran.

“The Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral is deeply sad­dened by the loss of life and dam­age fol­low­ing the earth­quake that struck the bor­der re­gion of the Is­lamic Repub­lic of Iran and the Repub­lic of Iraq on Sun­day evening,” ac­cord­ing to a state­ment by the UN.

“He con­veys his con­do­lences to the be­reaved fam­i­lies and to the Gov­ern­ments and peo­ple of the Is­lamic Repub­lic of Iran and the Repub­lic of Iraq. He wishes those in­jured a speedy re­cov­ery,” it added.

Greek Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs also made an an­nounce­ment on the earth­quake that struck Iran and Iraq.

“We ex­press our deep sor­row over the tragic af­ter­math of the earth­quake that struck Iran and Iraq on the evening of 12 Novem­ber,” the an­nounce­ment said. “In these dif­fi­cult hours, we ad­dress our sin­cere con­do­lences to the fam­i­lies of the vic­tims and the un­di­vided sup­port and sol­i­dar­ity of the Greek govern­ment and the Greek peo­ple to the friendly peo­ples and gov­ern­ments of Iran and Iraq.”

The French em­bassy in Iran also of­fered their deep­est con­do­lences to the fam­ily of the de­ceased and vic­tims of the sever earth­quake.

Noor Muham­mad Jad­mani, the for­mer am­bas­sador of Pak­istan to Iran, also ex­pressed his sor­row. “I am dis­tressed to learn of the dev­as­tat­ing earth­quake that has taken so many pre­cious lives,” he told the Tehran Times.

“Please ac­cept our deep con­do­lences and sym­pa­thies on this tragic ac­ci­dent. May God pro­tect our broth­ers and sis­ters in IR in Iran. May God Grant strength to our Ira­nian broth­ers to bear this loss and emerge stronger through their usual strong re­silience,” Jad­mani said.

Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah IV Ah­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah ca­bled a mes­sage on Mon­day to Pres­i­dent Hassan Rouhani to ex­press con­do­lences on dev­as­tat­ing quake claiming the lives of some Ira­nian peo­ple in Ker­man­shah prov­ince in west of Iran.

In sep­a­rate mes­sages, Kuwait’s crown prince and the coun­try’s prime min­is­ter also ex­tended their con­do­lences to Pres­i­dent Hassan Rouhani over the fa­tal quake in west of Iran claiming lives of many peo­ple.

Ar­me­nian Pres­i­dent Serzh Sargsyan also in a mes­sage to Pres­i­dent Rouhani sym­pa­thized with vic­tims of the fa­tal quake in west­ern Iran.

The deadly quake

The quake is be­lieved to hit the town of Sar­pol-e Za­hab, about 15km from the bor­der in Ker­man­shah, the hard­est. The death toll is ex­pected to grow, some build­ing are razed to ground and dozens are still trapped un­der rub­ble. A ma­jor­ity of the vic­tims were from Sar­pol-e Za­hab. Re­gional coun­tries in­clud­ing Turkey, Kuwait, and the UAE also re­ported feel­ing a tremor.

Mem­bers of the Army, the Is­lamic Revo­lu­tion­ary Guard Corps (IRGC), Basij force, and the Red Cres­cent So­ci­ety were dis­patched to the area soon af­ter the in­ci­dent.

Elec­tric­ity and wa­ter sup­ply were cut off in sev­eral cities and thou­sands of peo­ple are in need of emer­gency shel­ter and blan­kets in cold weather.

Or­dered by the Pres­i­dent Rouhani, the min­istry of en­ergy is striv­ing to trou­bleshoot the prob­lem of wa­ter and power cuts in the earth­quake-hit re­gions.

Es­maeil Na­j­jar di­rec­tor of the na­tional cri­sis man­age­ment head­quar­ters told Mehr news agency that a great deal of the prob­lem would be fixed by night­fall.

Po­lice chief Hos­sein Ashtari, In­te­rior Min­is­ter Ab­dol­reza Rah­mani Fa­zli, and Health Min­is­ter Hassan Qaz­izadeh-Hashemi have trav­elled to the quake-hit ar­eas.

Pres­i­dent Rouhani is also slated to travel to the earth­quake-stricken ar­eas to­day.

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