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Aid slow to reach Iranians – Quake survivors plead for help

An earthquake survivor speaks at her destroyed house in Sarpol-e-Zahab in western Iran on Nov 15. Survivors in Iran are awaiting badly needed aid, three days after a powerful earthquake along the Iraq border killed hundreds and left thousands injured. (AP)

KOUIK, Iran, Nov 15, (Agencies): Iranian survivors of a powerful earthquake that killed more than 400 people pleaded Wednesday for water, tents and other emergency supplies as aid trickled into remote villages near the Iraqi border.

The government ordered rescuers to keep searching for people trapped under the rubble following the 7.3-magnitude quake which struck the mountainous region late Sunday, toppling buildings and leaving thousands homeless. At least 530 people were killed in Iran, all in the western province of Kermanshah, and eight in Iraq, according to authorities in the two countries. In total, nearly 8,200 people were reported to have been injured.

In villages north of the badly hit city of Sar-e Pol-e Zahab, a convoy of about 20 ambulances arrived with medicine while Red Crescent teams brought tents, water, food, and blankets. But much of the assistance came from ordinary Iranians, some of whom travelled more than 100 kms (62 miles) from a neighbouring province. “God bless them!” resident Abdol Gaderi, 45, said of the volunteers, but “we need running water, electricity, and mobile toilets”. Villagers voiced fears of disease breaking out because of the corpses of animals under the rubble.


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