Iran-Iraq quake killing 430


Malta Independent - - WORLD -

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.

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