Iran’s earthquake death toll raised to 530: declared an emergency
Iranian officials have raised the death toll from Sunday’s earthquake of 7.3 magnitude on its border with Iraq to at least 530, making it the deadliest in the world this year.
At least 7,460 people were injured during the earthquake, which hit seven big cities and 1,950 villages in the province. Officials said 12,000 houses had been completely destroyed and a further 15,000 damaged, Irna reported.
The quake was centred 19 miles (30.6km) outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja, according to the most recent measurements from the US Geological Survey. There were also casualties on the Iraqi side but the number of those killed in Kermanshah was significantly higher.
Iran has seen powerful earthquakes in recent decades. The 1990 Manjil–Rudbar earthquake in northern Iran, which had a magnitude similar to the one on Sunday, resulted in the deaths of 35,000 to 50,000 people. The 2003 Bam earthquake in the southern Kerman province killed at least 31,000.
Emergency declared in Iraq. Officials in Sulaymaniyah declared an emergency on Monday to assess the aftermath, according to local Kurdish media.
President Rouhani visited earthquake-hit Sarpol-e Zahab on Tuesday. Earlier, he said: “I wholeheartedly sympathise with all the injured and the victims of 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 one.”