Deadly quake claims hundreds of lives

November 14, 2017 - 9:54

TEHRAN — Dignitaries from around the world offered their heartfelt condolences over the deadly quake which jolted Iran’s western province of Kermanshah on Sunday night local time.

By Monday night 450 were reported dead and more than 6,700 injured from the magnitude 7.3 earthquake that had hit Kermanshah province. 

According to the Iranian Seismological Center, the incident occurred at 9:48 pm local time. The epicenter of the earthquake which struck at a depth of 11 kilometers was Ezgeleh, a border town adjacent to Iraq. 

Following the devastating earthquake, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei sent his sincere condolences to the families of the deceased.

“I sadly received news about an earthquake in the western part of the country, which resulted in the death and injury of a number of dear fellow countrymen and caused a lot of damage.” 

The Leader also urged all officials, military and civilian forces along with public organizations, to “rush to the aid of those affected in these early hours [after the incident].”

“Conveying sincere condolences to Government and People of Iran following last night's deadly earthquake on western border. Situation was unclear around midnight, now, as the sun rises this morning, we know more about the number of dead/injured. UN will assist if requested,” UN Resident Coordinator in Iran Gary Lewis said in his Twitter message which was released on Monday.

In a statement, Irish President Michael D Higgins also extended his sympathies to those affected by the earthquake. “May they receive the urgent assistance, and the solidarity, they need from the global community and their institutions,” he said. 

British Ambassador to Iran Nicholas Hopton wrote on his twitter “So sad to hear of the terrible earthquake in Kermanshah last night. My condolences to the families of those killed and sympathy to all affected.” 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered condolences to the victims of the earthquake, saying “I wish a speedy recovery to the people of Iraq and Iran after an earthquake that happened in northern Iraq yesterday night, [and] I offer my condolences.” 

Erdogan said Turkish aid agencies, including the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and Red Crescent, were conducting search-and-rescue efforts in the affected region.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives in the devastating earthquake. “My thoughts are with all those who have lost their loved ones in the tragic earthquake that has affected parts of Iran and Iraq. I pray that those injured recover at the earliest,” Modi tweeted. 

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson also expressed his deepest condolences, saying, “The UK stands ready to help the victims and the recovery effort”.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his condolences on Twitter.

“Canadians offer their deepest sympathies to the families affected by the earthquake in the region,” he said.

“Convey sincere condolences of Germany to the Government and the People of Iran on occasion of the deadly earthquake in western parts of Iran. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families.” 

German Ambassador to Iran Michael Klor-Berchtold wrote on his twitter that “Germany ready to help if needed.” 

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a message published on the Kremlin’s website that “Please accept sincere sympathy and support for the relatives and friends of those who perished and wishes of early convalescence to all survivors of this calamity”. 

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres offered his condolences to the government and people of Iran.

“The Secretary-General is deeply saddened by the loss of life and damage following the earthquake that struck the border region of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Iraq on Sunday evening,” according to a statement by the UN.

“He conveys his condolences to the bereaved families and to the Governments and people of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Iraq. He wishes those injured a speedy recovery,” it added.

Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs also made an announcement on the earthquake that struck Iran and Iraq. 

“We express our deep sorrow over the tragic aftermath of the earthquake that struck Iran and Iraq on the evening of 12 November,” the announcement said. “In these difficult hours, we address our sincere condolences to the families of the victims and the undivided support and solidarity of the Greek government and the Greek people to the friendly peoples and governments of Iran and Iraq.”

The French embassy in Iran also offered their deepest condolences to the family of the deceased and victims of the sever earthquake. 

Noor Muhammad Jadmani, the former ambassador of Pakistan to Iran, also expressed his sorrow. “I am distressed to learn of the devastating earthquake that has taken so many precious lives,” he told the Tehran Times.

“Please accept our deep condolences and sympathies on this tragic accident. May God protect our brothers and sisters in IR in Iran. May God Grant strength to our Iranian brothers to bear this loss and emerge stronger through their usual strong resilience,” Jadmani said.

Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah IV Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah cabled a message on Monday to President Hassan Rouhani to express condolences on devastating quake claiming the lives of some Iranian people in Kermanshah province in west of Iran.

In separate messages, Kuwait's crown prince and the country's prime minister also extended their condolences to President Hassan Rouhani over the fatal quake in west of Iran claiming lives of many people.

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan also in a message to President Rouhani sympathized with victims of the fatal quake in western Iran.

The deadly quake 

The quake is believed to hit the town of Sarpol-e Zahab, about 15km from the border in Kermanshah, the hardest. The death toll is expected to grow, some building are razed to ground and dozens are still trapped under rubble. 

A majority of the victims were from Sarpol-e Zahab.

Regional countries including Turkey, Kuwait, and the UAE also reported feeling a tremor. 

Members of the Army, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Basij force, and the Red Crescent Society were dispatched to the area soon after the incident.
Electricity and water supply were cut off in several cities and thousands of people are in need of emergency shelter and blankets in cold weather.

Ordered by the President Rouhani, the ministry of energy is striving to troubleshoot the problem of water and power cuts in the earthquake-hit regions. 

Esmaeil Najjar director of the national crisis management headquarters told Mehr news agency that a great deal of the problem would be fixed by nightfall. 

Police chief Hossein Ashtari, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, and Health Minister Hassan Qazizadeh-Hashemi have travelled to the quake-hit areas. 

President Rouhani is also slated to travel to the earthquake-stricken areas today. 


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