Iran-Iraq quake killing 430
tification could mean the death toll was actually higher.
The quake was centered about 19 miles (31 kilometers) outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and struck 14.4 miles (23.2 kilometers) below the surface, a somewhat shallow depth that can cause broader damage. The quake caused Dubai’s skyscrapers to sway and could be felt 1,060 kilometers (660 miles) away on the Mediterranean coast.
Seven deaths occurred in Iraq and 535 people were injured, all in the country’s northern, semiautonomous Kurdish region, according to its Interior Ministry.
The disparity in casualty tolls immediately drew questions from Iranians, especially because so much of the town was new.
Sarpol-e-Zahab fell to the troops of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during his 1980 invasion of Iran, which sparked the eight-year war between the two countries that killed 1 million people. Though clawed back by Iran seven months later, the area remained a war zone that suffered through Saddam’s missile attacks and chemical weapons.
After the war, Iran began rebuilding the town. It also was part of Ahmadinejad’s low-income housing project, which aided the Holocaust-questioning hard-liner’s populist credentials but also saw cheap construction.
Under the plan dubbed as Mehr or “kindness” in Farsi, some 2 million units were built in Iran, including hundreds in Sarpol-e Zahab. Many criticized the plan, warning that the low-quality construction could lead to a disaster.
“Before its 10-year anniversary, Mehr buildings have turned into coffins for its inhabitants,” the reformist Fararu news website wrote Monday.
Iran sits on many major fault lines and is prone to near-daily quakes. In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people. In 2012, a major casualty earthquake killed over 300.
‘A national shame’: Local papers react harshly to Italy exit
The End. The Apocalypse. A national shame. Local newspapers spared no words Tuesday in describing four-time champion Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in six decades. The Gazzetta dello Sport headline read “FINE” — “The End” — in big, block letters, while Turin daily La Stampa wrote “Apocalypse Azzurra.” Rome daily Il Messaggero called it “A national shame,” and Rome sports daily Corriere dello Sport said “Everyone out.” After a scoreless draw with Sweden on Monday, Italy lost a qualifying playoff on 1-0 aggregate. Italy had participated in every World Cup since failing to qualify for the 1958 tournament, which coincidentally was held in Sweden. The previous major competitions Italy missed were the 1984 and 1992 European Championships.