Earthquake: Iran calls off rescue operations as death toll rises to 530

Earthquake: Iran calls off rescue operations as death toll rises to 530

Earthquake: Iran calls off rescue operations as death toll rises to 530

The government is scrambling to get aid to the worst-hit area in the mountainous province of Kermanshah, where hundreds of homes were destroyed, reports the BBC.

Thousands of homeless Iranians sought shelter from bitter cold Tuesday as President Hassan Rouhani promised swift help after a major quake that killed more than 400 people.

In a televised interview on Monday, IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said his forces are working in close cooperation with the Army to help victims of the massive quake in western Iran.

The quake also shook the Iranian provinces of Kordestan, Ilam, Khuzestan, Markazi, West Azarbaijan, East Azarbaijan, Lorestan, Qazvin, Zanjan, Qom and Tehran.

Iranian officials on Tuesday called off rescue operations, saying there was little chance of finding more survivors from the quake that shook parts of western Iran on Sunday. "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.

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"We need help, we need everything, the authorities should speed up their help", she said.

Iranian medical officials announced that several field hospitals have been set up in the quake-hit areas.

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

Kermanshah's provincial officials said about 12,000 houses both in urban and rural regions across the province have been totally damaged due to the strong natural disaster.

At least 280 people were killed in the town, home to some 85,000 people, where crumpled vehicles lay under the rubble of flattened buildings on the streets. Iranian Army helicopters were taking part in the relief effort.

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