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It is the worst earthquake recorded in Kermanshah since 1990. To the 455 registered deaths in Iran are added eight reported by the Iraqi authorities.
Iranian semi-official news agency Tasnim said on Monday (13.11.2017) that the earthquake of magnitude 7.3 that affected an area on the border between Iran and Iraq on Sunday night left at least 455 dead and more than 7,350 injured. More than half of the fatalities occurred in the Kurdish majority city of Sarpol-e Zahab in Kermanshah province. The tragedy led the Iranian government to declare a national day of mourning on Tuesday.
It is worth noting that the official number of fatalities is 407, although it may happen that the press has information faster than the authorities. Nor can it be ruled out that there is a double death count. Meanwhile, rescue teams fight frantically against time in search of survivors in the rubble. Almost 150 aftershocks have been felt after the main earthquake, increasing the risk of new landslides, which led many families to spend the night outdoors.
The Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called on all authorities to ensure that aid will quickly reach the affected area, and the armed forces to be deployed to assist in the rescue work. The first aid shipments were for Turkey, while Italy put 12 tons of supplies at the disposal of the Iranian authorities. Pope Francis, for his part, offered to pray.
The worst in 27 years
According to the Geological Institute of the United States, the epicenter of the earthquake was located 31 kilometers from the Iraqi city of Halabja. In spite of this, in Iraq the earthquake caused less damage, although they also regretted human losses. The spokesman of the Ministry of Health, Saif al-Badr, reported that eight people died and 535 were injured. Seven of the dead were recorded in the autonomous region of Kurdistan and the eighth in Diyala.
Kermanshah is the worst earthquake registered in the region since 1990. Then, in Rudbar, in the province of Gilan, in the north of the country, an earthquake of magnitude 7.4 caused the death of more than 35,000 people. A devastating earthquake in 2003 in Bam, in southeastern Iran, left more than 26,000 dead. The seismologists point out that the tectonic-Arabian plate is responsible for the last earthquake when pressing against the Eurasian plate.