Rescue efforts end after deadly Iran quake

Rescue efforts end after deadly Iran quake

A rescue worker searches the debris with his sniffing dog on the natural disaster site in Sarpol-e-Zahab in western Iran on November 14.

Iran's sporting community has always been beside the people during natural calamities such as the 2003 Bam quake in Bam City, Kerman Province, in which more than 26,000 were killed and over 30,000 were injured.

At least 14 provinces in Iran were affected.

Rouhani landed by helicopter in the city of Kermanshah and promised the government would move swiftly to help those left homeless.

State television says thousands have been huddling in makeshift camps while many others spent a second night in the open for fear of more tremorsafter around 193 aftershocks. "The quake did not kill us but the cold weather will kill us", a woman in her 30s said. But Iranian officials said the chances of finding any more survivors were extremely low.

Full-scale rescue operation could start only with the dawn, and yet unknown, are still people under the rubble.

The Iranian Red Crescent Society has deployed 16 response teams, 31 sniffer dog teams, 41 debris removing teams, 48 emergency sheltering teams and nine emergency treatment teams in the hardest-hit areas.

Hospitals in nearby provinces took in numerous injured, state television said, airing footage of survivors waiting to be treated.

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A Tehran cinema said it would donate half of its receipts to relief efforts, and the capital's two football teams said they were sending hundreds of tents and blankets.

"Today, we sent our ambulances to villages in areas affected by the quake to help people rescued yesterday, including changing their bandages", he said.

Ali Gulani, 42, who lives in the province's badly-hit town of Qasr-e-Shirin, told BBC that people were burning crates to try to stay warm.

More than 500 villages in the region suffered damage. Some people are angry that among the collapsed buildings were houses that the government has built in recent years under its affordable housing programme. Iranian officials anticipate that the death toll will rise as emergency teams rush to rescue dozens of people who remain trapped beneath rubble in damaged areas.

Iranian state news agency Irna said 530 people had died in Iran alone. "I don't know whether they are dead or alive", Rojan Meshkat, 38, in the Kurdish city of Sanandaj told Reuters by telephone.

Iran has experienced at least two major quake disasters since, with more than 600 people killed in 2005 and a further 300 in a 2012 quake.

Survivors, many left homeless by Sunday's 7.3 magnitude quake that struck villages and towns in Kermansheh province along the mountainous border with Iraq, struggled through another bleak day on Tuesday in need of food, water and shelter.

Relations between Turkey and the Kurdish region of northern Iraq have been tense since the Kurds held an independence referendum in September.

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