Iran ends res­cue op­er­a­tions in quake-hit ar­eas

New Straits Times - - World -

ANKARA: Iran said yes­ter­day that res­cue op­er­a­tions have ended in ar­eas hit by a pow­er­ful week­end earth­quake that killed at least 530 peo­ple and in­jured thou­sands, state tele­vi­sion re­ported.

“The res­cue op­er­a­tions in the (western) Ker­man­shah prov­ince have ended,” Pir-Hos­sein Ko­li­vand, head of Iran’s Emer­gency Med­i­cal Ser­vices, said on state TV.

Sun­day’s 7.3-mag­ni­tude earth­quake struck vil­lages and towns in the moun­tain­ous area of Ker­man­shah prov­ince that bor­ders Iraq while many peo­ple were at home asleep. At least 14 prov­inces in Iran were af­fected.

Ira­nian Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani ar­rived in the morn­ing in the earth­quake-stricken area in Ker­man­shah and promised that the gov­ern­ment “will use all its power to re­solve the prob­lems in the short­est time”.

More than 30,000 houses in the area were dam­aged and at least two vil­lages were com­pletely de­stroyed, Ira­nian au­thor­i­ties said.

State tele­vi­sion said thou­sands were hud­dling in makeshift camps while many oth­ers spent a sec­ond night in the open for fear of more tremors to come af­ter some 193 af­ter­shocks.

A home­less young woman in Sar­pol-e Za­hab, one of the hard­est-hit towns, told state TV that her fam­ily was ex­posed to the night chill be­cause of lack of tents.

“It is a very cold night... we need help. We need ev­ery­thing. The au­thor­i­ties should speed up their help,” she said.

Ira­nian po­lice, the elite Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guards and its af­fil­i­ated Basij mili­tia forces were dis­patched to af­fected ar­eas on Sun­day night.

Iran’s Red Cres­cent said emer­gency shel­ter had been pro­vided for thou­sands of home­less peo­ple, but a lack of wa­ter and elec­tric­ity as well as blocked roads in some ar­eas hin­dered aid sup­ply ef­forts. Reuters


Vic­tims of the earth­quake look­ing for their be­long­ings in Pole-Za­hab in Ker­man­shah Prov­ince, Iran, on Mon­day.

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