WORLD Updated: Iran quake toll may rise amid search for victims

WORLD

Updated: Iran quake toll may rise amid search for victims

AP staff | AP

02:49, November 15, 2017

The Latest on developments from an earthquake in the border region of Iran and Iraq (all times local):

3:50 p.m.

Iran’s state-run news agency says the country’s death toll from the powerful earthquake that struck the Iran-Iraq border has risen to 530.

The report Tuesday afternoon by the IRNA news agency said the number of injured in the temblor now stood at 7,460.

The magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck Sunday night Iran time, just as people were going to bed. The worst damage appeared to be in the Kurdish town of Sarpol-e-Zahab in the western Iranian province of Kermanshah.

Kermanshah, an almost entirely Kurdish province nestled in the Zagros Mountains that run along the border with Iraq, suffered all of Iran’s fatalities from the temblor Sunday night that shook 14 of the country’s 31 provinces.

2:40 p.m.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani says his administration will probe the cause of so much damage to buildings constructed under a state-owned program in the quake-stricken area along the border with Iraq.

The official IRNA news agency says Rouhani made the remarks while touring the quake-hit Iranian Kurdish town of Sarpol-e Zahab on Tuesday.

According to the report, Rouhani said that “the faults and shortcomings in the construction of these buildings should be investigated”

He pledged the “government will definitely follow up on these issues and identify the culprits.”

Many of the damaged buildings were built during former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad administration, though some of them were completed and handed over to the residents under Rouhani.

Under the plan dubbed Mehr, or “kindness” in Farsi, some 2 million units were built in Iran, including hundreds in Sarpol-e Zahab. Many warned that the low-quality construction could be problematic.


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