Iran ends quake res­cue op­er­a­tions

Daily News - - WORLD -

ANKARA: Iran said yes­ter­day that res­cue op­er­a­tions had ended in ar­eas hit by a pow­er­ful week­end earth­quake that killed at least 450 peo­ple and in­jured thou­sands of oth­ers, 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 Ker­man­shah prov­ince that bor­ders Iraq while many peo­ple were asleep. At least 14 prov- inces in Iran were af­fected.

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 young woman in Sar­pol-e Za­hab, one of the hard­est-hit towns, told state TV 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.

Iran’s top au­thor­ity Supreme Leader Ay­a­tol­lah Ali Khamenei of­fered his con­dol- ences and called on gov­ern­ment agen­cies to do all they could to help those af­fected.

Ira­nian po­lice, the elite Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guards and its af­fil­i­ated Basij mili­tia forces were dis­patched to af­fected ar­eas on Sun­day night. Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani will visit the areato­day.

The tele­vi­sion sta­tion showed footage of res­cue work­ers fran­ti­cally comb­ing through the rub­ble of dozens of vil­lages im­me­di­ately af­ter the quake. But of­fi­cials said the chances of find­ing any more sur­vivors were ex­tremely low. – Reuters

PIC­TURE: REUTERS

A man walks past a build­ing dam­aged in Sun­day’s earth­quake in Dar­bandikhan in Su­laimaniya Gover­norate, Iraq, yes­ter­day.

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