Earthquake hits Iran-Iraq border killing over 300

The quake struck the region on Sunday night and is the deadliest in Iran in more than a decade
Damaged buildings in Sarpol-e-Zahab - Photo: Pouria Pakizeh/ISNA via AP
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On Sunday at 21:18 local time, a 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck the border region between Iran and Iraq, killing over 300 people and injuring thousands.

Early reports state it was the Iranian province of Kermanshah, particularly the town of Sarpol-e-Zahab, which was hit the hardest.

Thousands of people await news of their missing relatives as search & rescue operations take place to recover survivors trapped beneath the rubble.

Despite there being no official figures, it is estimated the quake killed over 400 people – at least 328 alone in Kermanshah – and there are more than 4 thousand injured.

Arsalan Darabí, 50, has been standing 10 hours in front of the building where his nephew and his nephew's family lived, without having any news of them.

“We don't know if they are alive, suffering beneath the rubble, or if they're dead,” he told EFE with tears in his eyes.

Those who have lost everything have set camping tents in the parks and streets, complaining they haven't received help from the official authorities so far.

Photo: Pouria Pakizeh/ISNA via AP

“We have no food or water,” says Safarí to EFE, a 32 man who managed to evacuate his house before it collapsed.

The hospitals in Sarpol-e-Zahab are also damaged and authorities have established provisional hospitals and dispatched 140 ambulances and at least 20 helicopters to transfer the injured to other areas, according to the Crisis Management Organization in Iran.

Given the magnitude of the tragedy, the Army, Islamic volunteer organizations, and the Red Crescent of Iran have been dispatched to provide relief aid and assistance in the search & rescue operations.

While earthquakes are frequent in Iran, this latest quake has been the deadliest since the one in June 1990, when 37,000 people lost their lives.


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