7.3-mag­ni­tude earth­quake kills 415 in Iran, Iraq

Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE -

Tehran, Iran - Teams of Ira­nian res­cuers dug through rub­ble in a hunt for sur­vivors on Mon­day af­ter a ma­jor earth­quake struck the Iran-Iraq bor­der, killing at least 415 peo­ple and in­jur­ing thou­sands.

The 7.3-mag­ni­tude quake rocked a bor­der area 30km south­west of Hal­abja in Iraqi Kur­dis­tan at around 9.20pm on Sun­day, the US Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey said.

Many peo­ple would have been at home when the quake hit in Iran’s western prov­ince of Ker­man­shah, where au­thor­i­ties said it killed at least 407 peo­ple and in­jured 6,700.

Across the bor­der in more sparsely pop­u­lated ar­eas of Iraq, the health min­istry said eight per­sons had died and sev­eral hun­dred were in­jured.

As dusk ap­proached on Mon­day, tens of thou­sands of Irani- ans were forced to sleep out­side in the cold for a sec­ond night as au­thor­i­ties scram­bled to pro­vide them with aid.

Some had spent Sun­day night out­doors af­ter flee­ing their homes in the moun­tain­ous cross-bor­der re­gion, hud­dling around fires at dawn as au­thor­i­ties sent in help.

“Peo­ple’s im­me­di­ate needs are firstly tents, wa­ter and food,” said the head of Iran’s elite Rev- olu­tion­ary Guards, Maj Gen Mo­ham­mad Ali Ja­fari.

Hun­dreds of am­bu­lances and dozens of army he­li­copters re­port­edly joined the res­cue ef­fort af­ter Ira­nian supreme leader Ay­a­tol­lah Ali Khamenei or­dered the gov­ern­ment and armed forces to mo­bilise ‘all their means’.

Of­fi­cials said they were set­ting up re­lief camps for the dis­placed.

(AFP)

Res­cue per­son­nel con­duct search and res­cue work in Iran’s Ker­man­shah prov­ince on Mon­day

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