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Rescuers search debris after Iran-Iraq quake killing 430

Rescuers search debris after Iran-Iraq quake killing 430
From CBC - November 14, 2017

Rescuers on Tuesday used backhoes and heavy equipment to dig through the debris of buildings toppled by a powerful earthquake on the border between Iran and Iraq, with weeping women crying out to God as aid workers found new bodies.

The grim work began in earnest again at dawn in the Kurdish town of Sarpol-e-Zahab in the western Iranian province of Kermanshah, which appears to be the hardest hit in the magnitude 7.3 earthquake that struck Sunday night.

Both rescuers and local residents alike stood atop the remains of apartment complexes, looking through the rubble. They used heavy blankets to carry away corpses.

The hospital in Sarpol-e-Zahab was heavily damaged, and the army set up field hospitals, although many of the injured were moved to other cities, including Tehran.

Damaged army garrison

The quake also damaged an army garrison and buildings in the border city and killed an unspecified number of soldiers, according to reports.

President Hassan Rouhani arrived in Kermanshah province on Tuesday to see the damage for himself and offer his support to those affected.

"This was a pain for all Iranians," Rouhani said, according to a statement on the presidency's website. "Representing the nation of Iran, I offer my condolences to the people of Kermanshah, and tell them that all of us are behind Kermanshah."

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif offered his thanks to foreign countries offering to help but wrote on Twitter: "For now, we are able to manage with our own resources."

More than 7,000 injured

Cleric Abdolhossein Moezi, a representative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who also is touring the area, said there was a need for more relief material and "security."

Many of the heavily damaged complexes in Sarpol-e-Zahab were part of construction projects under former hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The newly homeless slept outside in cold, huddled around makeshift fires for warmth.

Huge disparity in casualty totals

'Buildings have turned into coffins'

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