The death toll in the devastating 7.3-magnitude natural disaster that struck Iran in a region bordering Iraq has reached 540, with thousands of Iranians struggling to cope without basic necessities and making desperate pleas for help.
The quake hit the area at 9:18 p.m. local time (0018 GMT), when many people would have been at home, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Authorities said Iran's armed forces will be sent to help remove rubble.
His plan is to donate the proceeds to families affected by the 7.3-magnitude tremor that shook Iran this weekend, according to PressTV. At least 28 people were also reported to have been killed in Qasr-e-Shirin, another city in Kermanshah that serves as a gateway for trade between Iran and Iraq. In the more sparsely populated areas across the border in Iraq, 10 people died and several hundred were injured.
TV reports indicate that more than half of the Iranian casualties are from the town of Sarpol-e-Zahab, and the district of Ezgeleh, which have a combined population of 30,000.
Iran's Olympic weightlifting champion Kianoush Rostami put his Rio Olympics 2016 gold medal for auction to raise money for the quake-stricken areas.
In 1990, a 7.4-magnitude quake in northern Iran killed 40,000 people, injured 300,000 and left half a million homeless, reducing dozens of towns and almost 2,000 villages to rubble.
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Yesterday, Iranian officials said they were setting up relief camps for the displaced and that 22,000 tents, 52,000 blankets and tonnes of food and water had been distributed.
Hospitals in nearby provinces took in numerous injured, state television said, airing footage of survivors waiting to be treated.
Meantime, five groups of injured people were transferred to the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Monday to receive further treatments.
Around 12,000 Iranian homes were destroyed and another 15,000 damaged in the quake, according to official estimates. Some people are angry that among the collapsed buildings were houses that the government has built in recent years under its affordable housing programme.
"On behalf of the Armenian government and personally myself I would like to extend our deepest condolences to you and the good people of Iran expressing our readiness to be involved in rescue operations". We heard a few aid workers in Sarpol-e Zahab saying that those in the villages were already dead and nothing could be done for them.
Villages and cities near the quake are suffering from widespread power outages and destruction of property.
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