A 7.3-magnitude quake on the Iran-Iraq border leaves hundreds dead


Mr Gulani said he understood aid had been despatched within the province, but that people in his town had not yet received help. "We had to leave without being able to help them".

At least 450 people have been killed and thousands are injured near the Iran-Iraq border after the region was rocked by a powerful 7.3 magnitude natural disaster, authorities said Monday. Tens of thousands of people are still desperately in need of help and survivors in the most remote parts of Iran are complaining about the slow pace of the relief effort.

Numerous damaged buildings were built during former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad administration, though some of them were completed and handed over to the residents under Rouhani.

The Turkish Red Crescent has sent assistance including 33 aid trucks, 3,000 tents and heaters, 10,000 beds and blankets and food to Sulaymaniyah, and the military has dispatched a cargo plane of aid.

Ahoora Niazi, who lives in Sarpol-e Zahab in Kermanshah province, filmed scenes of ruin and posted the videos on the social media.

The quake struck about 30 km south of the Iraqi town Darbandikhan, near the north-eastern border with Iran.

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"We need everything. The authorities should speed up their help", one homeless young woman in Sarpol-e-Zahab, where most of the victims died, told Reuters news agency. "The temperature tonight will drop below freezing and many people will be left outside their homes".

Meantime, five groups of injured people were transferred to the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Monday to receive further treatments. Many warned that the low-quality construction could be problematic. In September Iran's government, run largely by Shia clerics, sent security forces into Sunni Kurdish towns to suppress demonstrations expressing support for an independence vote in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The area, about 10 miles from the border with Iraq, is in the Kermanshah province.

Search and rescue operations are nearly complete while relief operations could take months, Mansoureh Bagheri, director of worldwide operations at the Iranian Red Crescent, told CNN on Tuesday.

Akbari said that in addition to medicine, water and food, the city needs 6,000 blankets and tents for emergency settlements for the people of two nearby towns and 25 villages devastated by the quake.

"The movement of different layers under the earth has muddied the water supply in the city and so we can't provide water until the mud settles", said the governor of Qasr-e Shirin, Faramarz Akbari.