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Thousands of homeless out in the cold after Iran quake

Thousands of homeless out in the cold after Iran quake
From Al Jazeera - November 14, 2017

Temperatures have plunged close to freezing in the western region of Iran affected by a 7.3-magnitude quake as many homeless survivors are forced to camp out for a second straight night.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani visited the worst-hit city of Sarpol-e Zahab on Tuesday and vowed to build 30,000 houses for survivors. But it remains unclear how the government will grapple with providing temporary shelter for the 70,000 displaced.

Rouhani said an estimated 11,000 homes in rural areas and 4,500 in cities have been destroyed.

More than 450 people have been killed and 7,000 others injured in Iran's Kermanshah province following the earthquake on Sunday. Across the border in Iraq, at least seven people were killed and 300 injured.

According to the Weather Channel, temperates could drop as low as 12C overnight with light winds and clear skies in Sarpol-e Zahab, which is surrounded by mountains.

Many survivors have either lost their houses or were too afraid to return to their damaged dwellings because of aftershocks, choosing to camp out despite the cool weather.

Since Sunday, more than 230 aftershocks have been recorded in Kermanshah, Tasnim News Agency reported.

Videos posted on social media on Tuesday by the Kermanshah Daily website showed several white tents set up along a road in Sarpol-e Zahab next to destroyed mud houses.

Another video showed people bringing food and garments for the survivors. Other posts on social media pleaded for monetary donations, or provisions of tents, blankets, warm clothes and water.

Meanwhile, Mansoureh Bagheri of Iran's Red Crescent Society told Al Jazeera more than 90 percent of the areas affected by the earthquake have been reached by the aid group.

"I can say that most of the rescue operations have been completed," she said late on Monday, adding the Red Crescent dispatched helicopters to the remotest areas hit.

"We focused on providing shelter and food because of the severe weather and cold temperatures," Bagheri said.

'Earthquake belt'

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