Iran quake toll reaches 422, thousands spend night in open

Iran quake toll reaches 422, thousands spend night in open

At least 530 people were killed and over 8,000 others injured in the 7.3 magnitude natural disaster that rattled the border region between Iraq and Iran late on Sunday, according to the latest report of Iran's state news agency.

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. President Hassan Rouhani is due to visit the region on Tuesday.

The quake hit Azgeleh, but officials said the highest number of casualties were in Iran's Kermanshah province. It struck about 30 km south of the Iraqi town Darbandikhan, near the north-eastern border with Iran.

More than 400 people were killed in the quake and thousands have been injured. Tremors were felt as far away as Turkey, Israel, Kuwait and Pakistan.

Iranian state TV said thousands of survivors had spent another night in makeshift camps or in the open. Many whose homes were still intact were frightened of returning because of dozens of aftershocks.

"It is a very cold night. we need help".

The head of the elite Revolutionary Guards, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said the immediate need was for tents, water and food. "We have no tents, no blankets", said one young resident of Sar-e Pol-e Zahab, the city most affected by the disaster.

Also, 40 ambulances, 55 4WD vehicles, 9 rescue vehicles, and 5 helicopters have been dispatched by Relief and Rescue Organisation of the Iranian Red Crescent Society from the first hours of the morning for assistance.

About 30 Red Crescent teams are working in the quake zone, Irna reported.