Earthquake in Iran left more than 250 people dead
Iran, August 12: Rescuers in Iran are searching through the rubble of collapsed buildings for survivors from two strong earthquakes which left at least 250 people dead.
The 6.4 and 6.3 quakes struck near Tabriz and Ahar on Saturday afternoon, and more than 2,000 are believed injured, many in outlying villages.
Thousands spent the night in emergency shelters or in the open and there have been more than 55 aftershocks.
Relief agencies are providing survivors with tents, bread and drinking water. The numbers of victims is expected to rise.
State TV said at least six villages were totally flattened, with 60 other villages sustaining damage ranging from 50% to 80%.
Almost all deaths seem to have been confined to rural areas, local disaster officials said – probably because buildings in the cities are more sturdily constructed.
The timing of the quake, during evening in the holy month of Ramadan, also meant it caught many people indoors as they were resting after fasting during the day.
In 2003 an earthquake in the city of Bam left 25,000 people dead.