Iranian authorities scrambled, on Tuesday, to bring help to thousands of people left homeless by Sunday’s 7.3 magnitude quake.The powerful tremors killed hundreds of people and destroyed thousands of homes.
“On the third floor where we live, man was thrown out and had a blow to his head and passed away.I think 186 are dead in Maskan-e Mehr, the majority of cars are all smashed.”At least 14 Iranian provinces were hit, with Kermanshah near the border with Iraq, bearing the brunt of the quake.Iranian president Hassan Rouhani promised swift help during a visit to a devastated town on Tuesday.
“I wish to assure all those that have suffered that the government will use all its power to resolve the problems in the shortest time.”
The city of Sar-e Pol-e Zahab appears to be the hardest hit.Rescuers used heavy equipment, on Tuesday, to get through the rubble to the bodies underneath, while women wailed outside.
“I have lost three people, one of my family members is injured.And three others are dead, my son, my daughter-in-law and my grandchild."
The death toll was much lower in neighboring Iraq, where seven people were reported dead.The town of Darbandi Khan in Kurdistan province was the most affected.Regional leaders visited the area Tuesday.A security camera in a cafe in northeastern Iraq recorded the dramatic moment when the earthquake struck the area.
“It was a mess, the tables fell over, the games fell on the floor, glass is broke.There was a panic outside, it lasted for some time and for me, it was the first time to see such a thing, I was in shock.We looked at the building from outside and it was swinging.”
Authorities in both countries say they are working to restore power and telephone lines, and roads have been cleared for the delivery of aid.
Zlatica Hoke VOA News Washington.