Saturday, Nov 18 2017 | Time 10:03 Hrs(IST)
image
  • Officers from New Delhi to participate in Railway 'grand camp fire' in Kashmir
  • Abdulrahman makes shortlist for Asian player award
  • All educational institutions closed in Srinagar, exams as per schedule
  • China says will work with North Korea to boost ties as envoy visits
  • Trump halts decision to allow elephant trophy imports after uproar
  • Argentina intensifies search for missing submarine with 44 crew
  • Can carbon-sucking technologies hold back climate change?
  • Strong earthquake rattles Tibet but no damage reported
  • Srinagar-Leh highway remains closed, Kashmir highway open
  • Rail service suspended in Kashmir for security reasons
  • Earthquake of magnitude 6'3 strikes southern China -USGS
  • Russia blocks bid to briefly extend Syria chemical weapons inquiry
  • Saudi Arabia recalls its ambassador to Germany for consultation
  • Lebanon's al-Hariri on twitter: "I am on the way to the airport"
  • Murray splits with coach Lendl for second time
World Share

Iran quake survivors complain of slow aid effort, battle freezing cold

By Parisa Hafezi
ANKARA, Nov 15 (Reuters) Exhausted and exposed to freezing cold, survivors of a weekend earthquake in western Iran begged authorities for food and shelter on Tuesday, saying aid was slow to reach them.
Iranian officials called off rescue operations earlier in the day on the grounds there was little chance of finding more survivors from the quake, which killed at least 530 people and injured thousands more. It was Iran's deadliest earthquake in more than a decade.
Survivors, many left homeless by Sunday's 7.3 magnitude quake that struck villages and towns in Kermanshah province along the mountainous border with Iraq, struggled through another bleak day on Tuesday in need of food, water and shelter.
Iran has so far declined offers of foreign assistance to deal with the aftermath of the tremor, which officials said damaged 30,000 homes and completely destroyed two villages.
The U.S. government expressed its condolences, a White House spokesman said. “The United States expresses its sincere sympathy and condolences to those affected by the earthquake in northern Iraq and Iran," he said, adding Washington had not received requests from the Iraqi government for help.
U.S. President Donald Trump, who is travelling back to Washington after a trip to Asia, has been deeply critical of Iran.
"We are hungry. We are cold. We are homeless. We are alone in this world," a weeping Maryam Ahang, who lost 10 members of her family in the hardest hit town of Sarpol-e Zahab, told Reuters by telephone.
"My home is now a pile of mud and broken tiles. I slept in the park last night. It is cold and I am scared."
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged state agencies on Tuesday to speed up aid efforts. President Hassan Rouhani paid a visit to the stricken region, promising to resolve "the problems in the shortest time".
Thousands of people huddled in makeshift camps while many others chose to spend another cold night in the open because they feared more tremors after some 230 aftershocks.
In some areas, no building was left standing and those that were had been deserted for fear they could come crashing down at any moment. Houses in impoverished Iranian villages are often made of concrete blocks or mudbrick that can quickly crumble and collapse in a strong quake.
State television aired footage of weeping villagers carrying away bodies wrapped in bloodied blankets and bed sheets and scrabbling with their bare hands through rubble in search of friends and relatives.
"It was my cousin's birthday ... All the relatives were there ... like 50 people. But now almost all are dead," Reza, who refused to give his full name, told Reuters from Sarpol-e Zahab town. He lost 34 members of his family on Sunday.
"We spent two nights in the cold. Where is the aid?"
On the Iraq side of the frontier, nine people were killed and over 550 injured, all in the northern Kurdish provinces.
Television showed rescue workers combing through the rubble of dozens of villages immediately after the quake. But by Tuesday morning Iranian officials said there was no longer any likelihood of finding survivors and called off the search.
Hospitals in nearby provinces took in many of the injured, state television said, airing footage of survivors waiting to be treated. Hundreds of critically injured were dispatched to hospitals in Tehran.
Iran's Red Crescent said emergency shelter had been provided for thousands of homeless people but a lack of electricity and water, as well as blocked roads, hindered aid supply efforts.
"People in some villages are still in dire need of food, water and shelter," said Faramraz Akbari, governor of Qasr-e Shirin county in Kermanshah province.
State TV showed dozens of green and white tents dotting Sarpol-e Zahab, many containing two or three families. Groups clustered around bonfires trying to warm themselves.
"It is cold. My children are freezing. We have water and food but no tent. The quake did not kill us but the cold weather will kill us," a woman in her 30s said.
The mayor of the city of Ezgeleh said 80 percent of its buildings had collapsed. Survivors desperately needed tents with elderly people and babies as young as a one-year-old sleeping in the cold for two straight nights.
"People are hungry and thirsty," a local man told ISNA news agency. "There is no electricity. Last night I cried when I saw children with no food or shelter."
Some people were angry that among the collapsed buildings were homes built under an affordable housing scheme initiated in 2011 by then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
"The people should build their own houses. They build better houses than those built under projects and schemes," Rouhani said in Kermanshah, state TV reported. "I promise you, those responsible will be punished."
Iran is crisscrossed by major geological fault lines and has suffered several devastating earthquakes in recent years, including a 6.6 quake in 2003 that reduced the historic southeastern city of Bam to dust and killed some 31,000 people.
REUTERS APS 0413
Top News

Rail service suspended in Kashmir for security reasons

Srinagar, Nov 18 (UNI) Train service has been suspended on Saturday for security reasons in the Kashmir valley, where a militant and a Sub Inspector (SI) of state police were killed in an encounter on Friday evening on the city outskirts.

see more..

Srinagar-Leh highway remains closed, Kashmir highway open

Srinagar, Nov 18 (UNI) The 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh national highway remained closed for vehicular traffic for the second day on Saturday while traffic on historic Mughal road was suspended since Friday afternoon due to slippery conditions.

see more..

All educational institutions closed in Srinagar, exams as per schedule

Srinagar, Nov 18 (UNI) All educational institutions remained closed as a precautionary measure on Saturday in Srinagar district, where a militant and a Sub Inspector (SI) of state police were killed in a brief encounter on the city outskirts yesterday.

see more..
French Foreign Affairs Minister calls on PM

French Foreign Affairs Minister calls on PM

New Delhi, Nov 17 (UNI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday the significance of India-France Strategic Partnership is not limited to the bilateral context, but 'acts as a force for peace and stability in the regional and global context as well.

see more..
Defence Minister rubbishes Rahul’s allegations on Rafale deal

Defence Minister rubbishes Rahul’s allegations on Rafale deal

New Delhi, Nov 17 (UNI) Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday rubbished Congress party’s allegations of bypassing the procedures in procuring 36 Rafale aircrafts from France, saying that the deal for the planes was done in a transparent manner and had to be struck quickly keeping in mind the defence preparedness of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

see more..
Diplomats urge govt to address Delhi air pollution problem

Diplomats urge govt to address Delhi air pollution problem

New Delhi, Nov 17 (UNI) The killing Delhi air pollution has evoked serious concerns among the diplomatic community which was conveyed to the External Affairs Ministry by Dean of Diplomatic Corps Frank Hans Dannenberg Castellanos on Friday.

see more..
Gulmarg, upper reaches receive fresh snowfall, rain in plains

Gulmarg, upper reaches receive fresh snowfall, rain in plains

Srinagar, Nov 17 (UNI) World famous ski resort of Gulmarg and other higher reaches received fresh snowfall in the Kashmir valley, where plains, including summer capital, Srinagar, experienced rain resulting in further chill on Friday.

see more..
image