Iran to probe state-built homes destroyed in quake
SARPOL-E-ZAHAB, IRAN >> Iranian President Hassan Rouhani launched an investigation Tuesday into why government housing built by his hard-line predecessor collapsed while others withstood an earthquake near the border with Iraq that killed more than 530 people.
In the Kurdish town of Sarpol-e-Zahab, which was reconstructed in the decades since the 1980s war with Iraq, the outer walls of apartment complexes tumbled away in the magnitude 7.3 earthquake Sunday night. The housing was built as a part of the “Mehr” or “kindness” project of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Rescuers used backhoes and other heavy equipment to dig through toppled buildings in Sarpol-e-Zahab, home to more than half of the dead. Aside from the 530 people killed in Iran, 7,817 were injured, the staterun IRNA news agency reported.