Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Rescue efforts end after deadly Iran quake

Rescue efforts end after deadly Iran quake

The region had experienced more than 100 aftershocks within the 24 hours after the natural disaster had hit.

"We are living in a tent and we don't have enough food or water".

More than 30,000 houses in the area were damaged and at least two villages were completely destroyed, Iranian authorities said.

Iranian state TV said thousands of survivors had spent another night in makeshift camps or in the open.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif thanked foreign countries offering to help but wrote on Twitter: "For now, we are able to manage with our own resources".

"It slightly damaged five historical sites including a Safavid-era caravanserai and a Sassanid-era fortress in the counties of Qasr-e Shirin, Sarpol-e Zahab and Dalahu in Kermanshah province while assessing the damage is still ongoing", CHTN cited the provincial tourism chief, Jalil Baalai, as saying.

Kermanshah's provincial officials said about 12,000 houses both in urban and rural regions across the province have been totally damaged due to the strong natural disaster.

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Rescuers used backhoes and other heavy equipment to dig through toppled buildings in Sarpol-e-Zahab, home to more than half of the dead.

He said that the government will take all efforts to solve the problems in the region in the shortest possible time and will help the affected people rebuild their dwellings. In the more sparsely populated areas across the border in Iraq, 10 people died and several hundred were injured.

A resident, Khosrow, told BBC Persian: "Walls have fallen on my sisters and father".

"Search operations are reaching their end, with teams constantly monitoring the situation to know if there are still people to extract from the rubble", Behnam Saidi, the spokesman for a crisis unit set up to handle the response to the quake, told state television. According to the report, Rouhani said that "the faults and shortcomings in the construction of these buildings should be investigated". Aid institutions throughout Iran, as well as relief workers, have been busy round the clock attending to the injured and survivors.

He added that "psychological support teams" had been sent to these areas.

About 30 Red Crescent teams are working in the quake zone, Irna reported.

The quake was centered about 19 miles (31 kilometers) outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and struck 14.4 miles (23.2 kilometers) below the surface, a somewhat shallow depth that can cause broader damage. Tremors were felt throughout the Middle East, including in Israel.

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