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Iran welcomes int'l assistance for quake victims

08-15-2012 06:22 BJT Special Report:Two Earthquakes Hit Iran |

TEHRAN, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Majlis (parliament) speaker Ali Larijani said Tuesday that the Islamic republic welcomes international assistance for victims of Saturday's twin earthquakes in northwestern Iran, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Talking to reporters in Tabriz, the provincial capital of Iran' s East Azerbaijan province, Larijani said the damage caused by the earthquake is "big" and some villages in the region have been razed up, according to the report.

The preliminary emergency measures have been taken to assist the quake victims, but sanitary services should be provided in the quake-hit region as another urgent step, Larijani was quoted as saying.

The Iranian speaker called on the country's officials to speed up relief measures in order for the victims to be settled before the cold season.

Iranian First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi also said Monday that the Islamic republic was ready to receive international aid for the quake-hit people.

Iran has helped other countries in the face of disasters and now the country is ready to receive international aid for the victims of the earthquake, said Rahimi.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) on Tuesday said there have been no requests from Iran for outside assistance after two earthquakes in the country.

Iran is not seeking funding or further aid from donors and other organizations currently, said IFRC spokesperson Jessica Sallabank.

The Red Crescent Society of Islamic Republic of Iran, which is playing a leading role in the relief operation after the quakes, has provided temporary shelters to over 45,000 people in the affected area, Sallabank said.

Iran has stepped up relief efforts in the wake of the deadly earthquakes that jolted its northwestern region over the weekend.

Iranian Health Minster Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi told a press conference on Monday that the death toll from Saturday's earthquakes had risen to 306, with more than 3,000 people injured and over 300 villages damaged or destroyed.

On Monday, the semi-official Fars news agency cited a local official in East Azerbaijan as saying that over 4,500 people had been injured in the earthquakes in the region.

Fars reported Tuesday that new corps had been discovered as the rescue teams continued their search for the still trapped.

A woman was found alive Tuesday after being trapped for three days under the rubble following Iran's twin strong earthquakes on Saturday, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

According to the report, the woman was in good health condition and has been taken to a field hospital for further care.

A 6.2-magnitude temblor, with a depth of 10 km, hit Ahar at 4: 53 p.m. local time (1223 GMT) Saturday, while another 6-magnitude earthquake, also with a depth of 10 km, struck nearby Varzaqan at 5:04 p.m. local time (1234 GMT), according to Iranian Seismological Center.

Another 5.3-magnitude temblor hit Varzaqan in East Azerbaijan Tuesday at 6:32 p.m. local time (1402 GMT). According to Iranian Seismological Center, its epicenter was at a depth of 6 km, 38.45 degrees north latitude and 46.79 degrees east longitude.

A Xinhua reporter in Tabriz said the quake was felt in the city, which is almost 130 km away from Varzaqan, and local residents rushed out to the streets in panic.

No immediate report has been released about the possible damage or casualties in Tuesday's quake.



Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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