Rouhani vows speedy reconstruction as quake death toll climbs to 530

Kristopher Drake
November 15, 2017

The death toll in the devastating 7.3-magnitude quake that struck Iran in a region bordering Iraq has reached 540, with thousands of Iranians struggling to cope without basic necessities and making desperate pleas for help.

"I was living on the fourth floor", said Ali Biabani, a labourer in his 50s.

"I consider it my duty to take a step, however small, to help my beloved fellow countrymen who have suffered as a result of the quake", Rostami was quoted by Iranian state news agency Tasnim.

Nevertheless, dozens of rescue teams are searching for survivors in larger towns and Red Cross teams are on their way. Iraq's Red Crescent put the toll at nine dead.

We have water and food but no tent.

But some did not have shelter in a region where temperatures dropped to 4 degrees Celsius (39 Fahrenheit) on Tuesday night.

"It is a very cold night. we need help".

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has visited the quake-stricken area and promised the government "will use all its power to resolve the problems in the shortest time".

Rouhani said that all aid would be channelled through the Housing Foundation, one of the charitable trusts set up after the Islamic revolution of 1979 that are major players in the Iranian economy.

But more aid was still needed.


The head of the elite Revolutionary Guards, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said many older buildings collapsed.

Thousands of homes were destroyed in the quake, which rocked a region spanning Iran's western province of Kermanshah and neighboring Iraqi Kurdistan. "The faults and shortcomings in the construction of these buildings should be investigated".

On Tuesday, Iran marked a day of mourning, with a black banner adorning the corner of images of the disaster broadcast by state television.

The headline of a state newspaper read "Iran cries with Kermanshah", referring to the Kurdish-majority province. Ali Daei, football coach and former player and world record holder for worldwide goalscoring, was among the first to help those in need by starting a campaign in Tehran to gather humanitarian aid for Kermanshah.

In Iraq, the health ministry said the quake had killed seven people in the northern province of Sulaimaniyah and one in Diyala province to its south.

On Monday, Iranian officials said they were setting up relief camps for the displaced and that 22,000 tents, 52,000 blankets and tonnes of food and water had been distributed.

The area sees frequent seismic activity.

The number of victims in Sunday's quake, which also injured close to 8,000 people, was expected to rise as efforts continued to clear the rubble from 30,000 destroyed homes.

Rescue operations have ended in areas of Iran hit by a powerful weekend natural disaster that killed at least 530 people and injured more than 8000, as many survivors, in need of food and water, battled the cold.

Thirteen years later, a catastrophic quake flattened swathes of the ancient southeastern Iranian city of Bam, killing at least 31,000.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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