25 November, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile

mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

e-mail this to a friend printable version

» 08/13/2012
Overcrowded hospitals and chaotic relief efforts in Iranian quake disaster
Doctors working around the clock, people bring food and water to the wounded in hospitals. At least 1000 villages affected, 20 were levelled to the ground; 130 villages 70% damages. Confusion about the number of victims and the emergency relief efforts. Ramadan affects victims, mostly women and children, and the delay in rescue. Benedict XVI's call for solidarity, but Iran is not asking for international aid.

Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Hospitals in the north-western region of Iran are packed with wounded after the two earthquakes that killed at least 300 people and destroyed hundreds of villages.

After the earthquake two days ago - and some aftershocks yesterday - thousands of people slept in shelters or parks, exposed to the night cold of the mountainous region.

Doctors and local people are working round the clock to treat the wounded and bring food and water to the sick. The authorities say they have completed search operations for missing persons, but reportedly there are still many missing.

The two shocks struck the region around Tabriz at 17:23 and 17:34 on 11 August with a magnitude 6.4 and 6.3. Most of the damage and casualties are reported around the city of Ahar, Varzaghan and Harees. Many villages, built of stones, bricks and mud have been destroyed. The ISNA (Iranian Students' News Agency) states that at least a thousand villages have been affected. Of these, 20 were completely razed to the ground, another 130 are up to 70% damaged.

Most of the victims are women and children. It being Ramadan, the women were at home preparing the evening iftar, the meal that breaks the daily fast.

There are conflicting figures on the number of victims. The interior minister, Mohammad-Najjar, said that 227 people died and 1380 ere injured, but other officials say the death toll is of at least 300 and more than 5 thousand injured.

The month of Ramadan has also slowed aid. Because of the fast, many offices are closed and only open in the evening. The first responders arrived seven hours after the first quake. Hospitals and clinics have been slow to respond, waiting until nightfall to collecting blood donations and organize the emergency services. Several witnesses say that there is scarcity of drinking water, food, tents, blankets and medical staff in the affected area. But official figures report that there are 100 ambulances, over 1000 employees of the Red Crescent and 44 thousand packages of food and 5600 tents were distributed.

Iran is prone to earthquakes. In 2003 an earthquake of magnitude 6.6 transformed the area of ​​Bam into dust, killing at least 31 thousand people. The area affected in recent days, East Azerbaijan, was last struck by an earthquake in 1770. The Institute for the study of earthquakes, in Tehran, had predicted a tremor in the area this year.

Yesterday Pope Benedict XVI appealed for prayers and solidarity with Iran. The United States, Russia, Turkey and other nations have offered their help, but Iran has made no request for international aid.

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
11/10/2011 TURKEY
Another earthquake in eastern Turkey, 7 dead and hundreds missing
03/09/2010 TURKEY
Earthquake in Anatolia, night spent in tents
03/08/2010 TURKEY
Earthquake in eastern Turkey, 38 dead
04/27/2015 NEPAL
Earthquake in Nepal: more than 3,500 dead. Caritas on frontline in rescue
by Christopher Sharma
10/05/2009 INDONESIA
Search for victims under mud ceases in Sumatra

Editor's choices
Paris Massacre highlights the failure of Muslim integration in Europe
by Catherine FieldThe attack in the heart of France highlights the crisis of Europe’s model of coexistence. Social unrest, poverty and marginalisation feed youth extremism and radicalisation. A New Zealander journalist, expert on expertise in religion and interfaith dialogue, talks about it after undertaking a journey through the French Muslim world.
For Nîmes imam, Islam should not be held hostage by extremists
by Hochine DrouicheFrench imams condemn the Paris terrorist attacks and disassociate themselves from violence committed in "the name of our religion." At the same time, they ask Muslim communities to dare leading a life of dialogue and friendship with Europeans, without fear or arrogance. For centuries, Muslims have ruled out reason from their religious life. The vice president of French imams bears witness.
AsiaNews marks 12 years: Persecution and hope
by Bernardo CervelleraDespite a worldwide increase of ignorance, indifference and superficiality, many signs of love and hope resist even in the most gloomy situations: the Iraqi mother who gives birth to her child in a refugee camp and smiles even though she has nothing; the Indonesian Muslim mother who blesses her son who became a Christian and a priest; the Chinese Christian families that welcome children thrown away because of the one-child law.


Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.