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TwoEarthquakes in Iran kills 220 and injures more than 1,500

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TwoEarthquakes in Iran kills 220 and injures more than 1,500

Post  Panda on Sun 12 Aug - 5:17

Iran: At Least 180 Dead After Two Earthquakes

Rescue workers head to the country's northwest after two quakes kill scores of people and injure more than 1,000.

12:30am UK, Sunday 12 August 2012

An injured person is taken to hospital in Ahar, Iran

Tabriz is a major city and trading hub

  • Two strong earthquakes have struck northwest Iran, killing at least 180 people.

Some 1,300 were injured and thousands more fled their homes as aftershocks continued to hit the area, state media said.

Iranian officials said the casualty figure could rise as some of the hurt were in a critical condition, while others were still trapped under rubble.

The US Geological Survey measured the first quake, which struck 37 miles northeast of the city of Tabriz, at 6.4-magnitude.

A second quake measuring 6.3 struck the nearby town of Varzaghan 11 minutes later.
State TV showed pictures of destroyed buildings
There have been at least 18 aftershocks since then.

"The quake was so intense that people poured into the streets through fear," one local was quoted as saying.

Tabriz is a major city and trading hub far from Iran's oil producing areas and known nuclear facilities.

While many buildings in the city are built to withstand earthquakes, homes and businesses in nearby villages are often made of concrete blocks or mud bricks, which can crumble and collapse in a strong quake.

State TV said at least six small villages were completely flattened, while some 60 others sustained damage ranging from 50-80%.

Local politician Abbas Falah urged people in the region to stay outdoors during the night for fear of more aftershocks.
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Re: TwoEarthquakes in Iran kills 220 and injures more than 1,500

Post  Panda on Mon 13 Aug - 6:55

Iran Earthquake: Hospitals Struggling To Cope

Casualty figures are expected to rise in Iran, as hospitals struggle to cope with thousands of victims from two earthquakes.

2:51pm UK, Sunday 12 August 2012

Video: 227 Dead After Iran Earthquakes

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Overcrowded hospitals in northwest Iran are struggling to cope with thousands of earthquake victims, as rescuers race to reach remote villages after two powerful tremors killed hundreds of people.

Thousands of people huddled in makeshift camps or slept in the streets after Saturday's quakes in fear of more aftershocks, 40 of which had already struck.

A lack of tents and other supplies has left them exposed to the night chill.

The number of people killed from the twin quakes remains unclear, with estimates ranging between 227 and 250 people. The casualty figures are expected to rise, officials said, as some of the injured were in a critical condition.

AFP reporters quoted interior minister Moustafa Mohammad-Najjar as saying: "Search and rescue operations have ended and we are now working to ensure survivors' needs in terms of shelter and food." But Reuters news agency said hundreds were stuck under rubble.

Rescuers had been digging through piles of debris over the weekend in an attempt to recover people who became trapped when homes and offices collapsed.

Pictures posted on Iranian news websites showed the bodies of men, women and children lying on the floor of a mortuary in the town of Ahar, 50 miles from the city of Tabriz.
The city of Tabriz is a major trading hub
Mourners wailed over the bodies of the dead, many of whom were women and children. Residents said a lot of the villages' men had been working their fields when the disaster struck.

"I saw some people whose entire home was destroyed, and all their livestock killed," said Tahir Sadati, a local photographer. "People need help, they need warm clothes, more tents, blankets and bread."

The worst damage and most casualties appeared to have been in rural villages surrounding the towns of Ahar, Varzaghan and Harees, near the major city of Tabriz, Iranian media reported.

Many villages are hard to reach by road, hindering rescue efforts. Hospitals in Tabriz, Ardabil and other cities nearby took in many of the injured, and there were long queues of survivors waiting to be treated.

Aidin, a Tabriz resident, said he went to give blood at a local hospital on Saturday and saw staff struggling to cope with the influx of patients.

Most patients had been taken there by their families, he said, indicating a shortage of ambulances.

Ahar's 120-bed hospital was full, said Arash, a college student and resident of the town. There were traffic jams on the narrow road between Ahar and Tabriz as victims tried to reach hospitals.
Mourners and the covered bodies of loved ones in the village of Baje-Baj
Makeshift medical centres have been set up in the open air with medical staff working through the night to save the lives of those in a critical condition.

The US Geological Survey measured Saturday's first quake at 6.4 magnitude and said it struck 37 miles northeast of the city of Tabriz, a trading hub far from Iran's oil-producing areas and known nuclear facilities.

The second, measuring 6.3 magnitude, struck 11 minutes later near Varzaghan, 30 miles northeast of Tabriz.

Twelve villages were destroyed and about 60 had more than 50% damage in the quakes, Iranian media reported. About 110 villages were damaged, deputy interior minister Hassan Ghadami told Fars news agency.

Mr Ghadami said 250 people had been killed and Red Crescent spokesman Hossein Derakhshan told Fars more than 2,000 people were believed to have been injured.

"We saw some villages that were truly destroyed," said Sadati, who visited the affected area to document the aftermath.

"One good thing was that the earthquake happened during the day, so many people were not in their homes. If it had happened at night the casualties would have been far worse."

Seventy-one ambulances and 40 units trained to find survivors had been deployed to the affected areas along with more than 5,000 tents, Mr Derakhshan said.

About 16,000 people in the quake-hit area have been given emergency shelter, Red Crescent official Mahmoud Mozafar told Mehr news agency.

Iran is situated on major fault lines and has suffered several devastating earthquakes in recent years, including a 6.6 magnitude quake in 2003 that reduced the historic south-eastern city of Bam to dust and killed about 31,000 people
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