Saturday, 16 December 2017 | News today: 0

Iran-Iraq border earthquake is deadliest of 2017

ct-iran-iraq-earthquake-20171112

A huge rescue effort is under way after a powerful earthquake struck Iran’s mountainous border with Iraq, killing more than 400 people and injuring more than 7,000, the BBC reports.

Teams are looking for survivors trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings.
The quake is the deadliest in the world this year.

Most people who died were in western Iran – in Sarpol-e-Zahab, a town 15km from the border, and other parts of Kermanshah province.

The town’s main hospital was severely damaged, leaving it struggling to treat hundreds of wounded, state TV reported.

A woman and her baby were pulled alive from rubble in the town, Iranian media said.

Running water and electricity cut out in some cities, and after buildings collapsed people were forced to spend hours outdoors in parks or streets in cold weather.

Many homes in the predominantly Kurdish mountainous area are made of mud bricks and are vulnerable in quakes as large as Sunday’s.

The earthquake hit late Sunday night with the epicenter across the Iraq-Iran border.

The quake, which reached a depth of 23 km according to the US Geological Survey, was felt across the region with aftershocks hitting Pakistan, Lebanon, Kuwait and Turkey, news agencies in those countries reported.

Iraq’s Meteorological Organization issued a warning on Iraqi State TV urging citizens to stay away from buildings and to refrain from using elevators.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi tweeted Monday that he “instructed civil defense teams and health and aid agencies to do all that they can to provide assistance” to those affected by the quake.

Meanwhile in Iran, the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei sent a message of condolence and urged military and civilian help to be dispatched to quake victims.