According to a publication on on the 13th of November 2017 by Bethan Mckernan in Beirut,death toll in magnitude quake climbs as rescuers continue search for survivors in a badly hit Iranian town of Sarpol-e-Zahab.


The number of people killed in an earthquake that struck Iran’s western province has risen to 407,officials have said.


Iranian state news said on Monday that most of the casualties are from border town of Sarpol-e-zahab in Kermanshah province.


Behman Saedi,a spokesman for the country’s crisis management headquarters was quoted by the semi-official Fars and Tasnim news agencies as saying the death toll was now 407.


A further 6700 people have been injured, and the emergency services warned the toll was likely to increase as they gained access to more remote mountanous areas.


A total of 70,000 people are in need of emergency shelter across fourteen affected provinces around the country,the Iranian Red Crescent warned in a statement.


Electricity has been cut off in many cities across the two countries and fear of aftershocks has driven many people outside despite cold November temperatures.


Rescue workers continued despite the difficulties posed by landslides and health ministry put out a call for emergency blood donations.


At least 14 provinces across the country had been affected,local media reported.Awoman and her baby were reportedly pulled out alive from the rubble.

“We need a shelter”,a middle-aged man in Sarpol-e-Zahab told state TV.

“Where is the aid?Where is the help?”.


His family could not spend another night outside in cold weather, he said.


Relief workers said while much aid had been pledged, there was an immediate need for blankets,childrens’clothes,medicine and large cans to store drinking water.TV aired footage of some people weeping next to corpses shrouded in blankets.


Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khmenei has offered his condolences and three days of mourning have been announced in Kermanshah.Anational day of mourning was announced for Tuesday.


In Iraq, the earthquake killed at least seven people and injured 535 others, all in the country’s northern semi-autonomous Kurdish region,according to its interior ministry.




Turkey, despite recent tensions over the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government’s(KRG) controversial independence referendum,said on Monday it would send aid including tents, beds,heaters and food to help alleviate the situation expressing “deep sadness”at the loss of life.


Many of the heavily damaged complexes in Sarpol-e-Zahab were part of the construction projects begun under former hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The  disparity in the fatality figures between the two countries immediately drew questions from Iranians, especially because so much of the town was new.


Kokab Fard, a 49-year-old woman from the town, said that she could only flee empty-handed when her apartment complex began to shake.”Immediately after I managed to get out, the building collapsed…I have no access to my belongings,”she said.


Raza Mahammadi,51,said he and his family ran to the alley following the first shock.”I tried to get back to pick some stuff but it totally collapsed in the second wave.”Mr Mohammadi said.


The magnitude 7.3 quake was centred was centred 31kilometres(19miles) outside the eastern Iraqi City of Halabja, the US Geological Survey said.It struck at a relatively shallow depth of 23.2kilometres(144miles),which usually leads to broader surface-level damage, and tremous recorded as far west as the Israeli coast of the Mediterenean and as far South of Baghdad.


“I was sitting with my kids having dinner and suddenly the building was just dancing in the air”Majida Ameer, who ran out of her Baghdad home,said.


“I thought at first that it was a huge bomb.But then heard everyone around me screaming:’Earthquake!”‘


Iran, which sits on several geological fault lines, is prone to earhquakes.A magnitude 6.6 quake in 2003 killed 26,000 in the city of Bam.


Culled from




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