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Iran pledges swift aid after major quake kills 400

14 November 2017

Survivors, many left homeless by the 7.3 magnitude natural disaster that struck villages and towns in a mountainous area bordering Iraq, battled overnight temperatures just above freezing and faced another bleak day in need of food and water.

Devastating tremors in Iran and Iraq killed more than 70 people.

In Iran's Kermanshah province killed 61 people, more than 300 were injured.

Following the occurrence of the quake, Relief and Rescue Organisation of the Iranian Red Crescent Society in the first phase of its response operation deployed 16 response teams, 31 sniffer dog teams, 41 debris removing teams, 48 emergency sheltering teams and 9 emergency treatment teams to the affected cities of Qasre-Shirin, Gilane-Garb, Kermanshah, Sare-Pule-Zahab, Salase-Babajani, Dalahoo, Islamabad- E- Gharb, and Javanrood. "The most urgent need is to provide solutions for heating, housing and food", Pir Hossein Koolivand, the head of national rescue services, told state television.

The Iranian Red Crescent said many areas lacked water and electricity and that aid supplies were being hampered by blocked roads.

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The province of Kermanshah had earlier declared three days of mourning, as rescue teams from across the country hurried to dig out survivors stuck under the rubble and save the wounded. President Hassan Rouhani is due to visit the region on Tuesday.

As of Monday, over 100 medics have been sent to devastated areas of Iran.

The report overnight by the IRNA news agency said the number of injured in the quake now stood at 7,460.

Hundreds of ambulances and dozens of army helicopters were reported to have joined the rescue effort after supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered the government and armed forces to mobilise "all their means".

The area sees frequent seismic activity. This was the deadliest quake to hit Iran in over a decade.

Iran pledges swift aid after major quake kills 400