On Sunday, Iran’s second deadliest earthquake ever hit near the town of Halabjah, killing over 500 people and leaving over 7,000 injured. A further nine people are said to have died in neighbouring Iraq, with 535 injured. The 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck in the remote border area between Iran and Iraq, which is known to be prone to many earthquakes. One of the worst hit areas was the Kermanshah province, where hundreds of homes were destroyed. The earthquake was one of the strongest Iran has experienced, with over 150 aftershocks being felt afterwards and neighbouring cities feeling tremors caused by the disaster.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani travelled to Kermanshah on Tuesday to oversee the rescue work taking place. He also spoke to reporters, saying: “I wholeheartedly sympathise with all the injured and the victims for this disaster and ask the Almighty [for] mercy for those who lost their lives, swift recovery for the injured, and patience and health for those fellow Iranians who lost their beloved ones.” Iran’s interior and health ministers also came to the area to supervise the rescue operations.
As the Iranian government works to help all of those affected, it is clear that the devastating loss of life will leave a hollow atmosphere for the survivors of this tragic disaster. Speaking about the aftermath of the quake, a resident in Kermanshah province released a video taken amongst the rubble, saying: “There has been no help yet, neither food nor water, no clothing and no tents; there is nothing. Our electricity, water, gas, and phone lines are out; everything is completely out; the whole city has been destroyed; it is wrecked.”
This earthquake is one of the worst in Iran’s history, along with the 2003 earthquake in Bam, which killed 26,000 people.
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