The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Nasser Karimi and Amir Vahdat

Res­i­dents hud­dle by a fire in an open area Mon­day af­ter a 7.3-mag­ni­tude earth­quake at Sar­pol-eZa­hab in Iran’s Ker­man­shah prov­ince. Hun­dreds of peo­ple were killed and more than a thou­sand were in­jured when the earth­quake shook the moun­tain­ous Iran-Iraq bor­der, trig­ger­ing land­slides that were hin­der­ing res­cue ef­forts, of­fi­cials said. Res­i­dents and fire­fight­ers from Tehran joined other res­cuers to dig through the rub­ble of build­ings brought down by the pow­er­ful earth­quake, which struck Sun­day at 9:48 p.m. Iran time, just as peo­ple were go­ing to bed.

IRAN» Res­cuers dug TEHRAN, with their bare hands Mon­day through the de­bris of build­ings felled by an earth­quake that killed more than 430 peo­ple in the bor­der re­gion of Iran and Iraq, with nearly all the ca­su­al­ties oc­cur­ring in an area re­built af­ter their ru­inous 1980s war.

Sun­day night’s mag­ni­tude 7.3 earth­quake struck about 19 miles out­side the east­ern Iraqi city of Hal­abja, ac­cord­ing to the most re­cent mea­sure­ments from the U.S. Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey. It hit at 9:48 p.m. Iran time, just as peo­ple were go­ing to bed.

The worst dam­age ap­peared to be in the Kur­dish town of Sar­pole-Za­hab in the western Ira­nian prov­ince of Ker­man­shah, which sits in the Za­gros Moun­tains that di­vide Iran and Iraq.

Res­i­dents fled into the streets as the quake struck, with­out time to grab their pos­ses­sions, as apart­ment com­plexes col­lapsed into

rub­ble. Out­side walls of some com­plexes were sheared off by the quake, power and wa­ter lines were sev­ered, and tele­phone ser­vice was dis­rupted.

Res­i­dents dug fran­ti­cally through wrecked build­ings for sur­vivors as they wailed. Fire­fight­ers from Tehran joined other res­cuers in the des­per­ate search, us­ing dogs to in­spect the rub­ble.

The hos­pi­tal in Sar­pol-eZa­hab was heav­ily dam­aged, and the army set up field hos­pi­tals, although many of the in­jured were moved to other cities, in­clud­ing Tehran.

The quake killed 430 peo­ple in Iran and in­jured 7,156, the state-run IRNA news agency re­ported Tues­day. Most of the in­juries were mi­nor with fewer than 1,000 still hos­pi­tal­ized, Iran’s cri­sis man­age­ment head­quar­ters spokesman Behnam Saeedi told state TV.

The of­fi­cial death toll came from pro­vin­cial foren­sic au­thor­i­ties based on death cer­tifi­cates is­sued. Some re­ports said unau­tho­rized buri­als with­out cer­ti­fi­ca­tion could mean the death toll was ac­tu­ally higher.

In Iraq, the earth­quake killed at least seven peo­ple and in­jured 535 oth­ers.

Pouria Pakizeh, Getty Images

Farzad Menati, Tas­nim News Agency

Rel­a­tives weep over the body of an earth­quake vic­tim in Sar­pol-e-Za­hab in western Iran on Mon­day. A 7.3-mag­ni­tude earth­quake killed hun­dreds of peo­ple in Iraq and Iran.

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