Iran quake survivors battle freezing temps : Rescue ops end, recovery begins
Iranian officials said there was little chance of finding more survivors from the earthquake that shook parts of western Iran on Sunday, killing at least 450 people, and rescue operations had now been called off, state television said on Tuesday. Survivors, many left homeless by the 7.3 magnitude earthquake that struck villages and towns in a mountainous area bordering Iraq, battled overnight temperatures just above freezing and faced another bleak day on Tuesday in need of food and water.
An Iranian man rests as he lies atop salvaged mattresses and items in the town of Sarpol-e Zahab. Pic/AFP
President Hassan Rouhani arrived in the morning in the stricken area in Kermanshah province and promised that the government would “use all its power to resolve the problems in the shortest time”. At least 14 provinces in Iran were affected by the quake, which destroyed two whole villages, damaged 30,000 houses and left thousands of people injured. Thousands of people huddled in makeshift camps while many others chose to spend a second night in the open, despite low temperatures, because they feared more tremors after some 193 aftershocks, state television said.
Television showed rescue workers combing through the rubble of dozens of villages immediately after the quake. But Iranian officials said chances of finding any more survivors were remote.
450 No. of people killed in the quake
30k Number of houses damaged in the quake