Powerful Earthquake Devastates Iran-Iraq Border


A building devastated by the earthquake. (Alireza Vasigh Ansari via Tasnim News)

A 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck the Iran-Iraq border on November 12, leaving at least 530 dead and over 7,000 injured. The earthquake was 2017’s deadliest quake to date and its effects were felt as far as Turkey and Pakistan.

Approximately 70,000 people are expected to require shelter as a result of the quake’s devastation. Structural damage throughout the Iran-Iraq border region was extensive, as most homes in the Kurdish mountains are constructed from mud bricks that are unable to withstand an earthquake’s intense tremors and oscillations.

Multiple major landslides occurred as a result of the earthquake, further complicating rescue efforts. Many people were forced to sleep in the open air in below freezing temperatures, without access to electricity or water.

On Tuesday, November 14, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited Iran’s western province of Kermanshah, the region closest to the earthquake’s epicenter. The province suffered significant infrastructure damage and is the source of the majority of quake related casualties.

The Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said that he had “instructed civil defense teams and health and aid agencies to do all that they can to provide assistance.” The Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei insisted that military and civilian help be dispatched to the affected areas.

A national day of mourning was observed in Iran for the victims of the earthquake.

Sources: Forbes, CNN, The Guardian

Photo: Tasnim News (License)