Iran Quake Toll May Rise Amid Search For Victims

Iran Quake Toll May Rise Amid Search For Victims

But in the more isolated and worst-hit Sunni localities, Sunni charities-including those of Islah and Dawa Group, an Iranian Islamist group close to the Muslim Brotherhood-were said to have arrived on the scene first with tents and water.

On the Iraq side of the border, 11 people were killed and the most damage was seen in Darbandikhan, near the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

State television says thousands have been huddling in makeshift camps while many others spent a second night in the open for fear of more tremors.

Kermanshah's provincial officials said about 12,000 houses both in urban and rural regions across the province have been totally damaged due to the strong quake.

The Iranian Red Crescent said many areas lacked water and electricity and that aid supplies were being hampered by roads blocked by landslides. The worst damage appeared to be in the Kurdish town of Sarpol-e-Zahab in the western Iranian province of Kermanshah.

Hospitals in nearby provinces took in numerous injured, state television said, airing footage of survivors waiting to be treated.

Along with the officials, Iranian people have also mobilized in response to the natural disaster to donate blood and prepare aid packages. You can hear children crying, it's too cold. Survivors desperately needed tents with elderly people and babies as young as one-year-old sleeping in the cold for two straight nights.

"The priority now is for emergency sheltering and food", she said.

Some of the buildings, which were built by government-affiliated programs and "state-owned schemes", according to a statement from the Office of the President, collapsed or were badly damaged.

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. "The temperature tonight will drop below freezing and many people will be left outside their homes".

In Sarpol-e Zahab, he asked: "Who is to be blamed for this? I don't know whether they are dead or alive", Rojan Meshkat, 38, in the Kurdish city of Sanandaj told Reuters by telephone.

Villages and cities near the quake are suffering from widespread power outages and destruction of property.

Related News: