GULF TIMES: Iranian authorities gave up hope of finding survivors of this week’s 7.3-magnitude earthquake on Friday as they ended rescue operations and took stock of the damage: thousands injured or homeless and tens of thousands of buildings damaged or destroyed.
The western Iranian province of Kermanshah was hardest hit by the earthquake, which struck in a remote mountainous region of Iraq, some 200 kilometres north-east of Baghdad and 400 kilometres west of Tehran.
According to new estimates, the eartquake left 436 people dead and more than 10,000 injured. Local authorities said more than 1,000 people were seriously injured, with some of those in critical condition.
Rescue operations have been abandoned, with media reports on Friday suggesting that the authorities have given up hope of finding survivors in the rubble.
Official data showed 30,000 residential complexes damaged, with more than 15,000 of those completely destroyed. Authorities estimated more than 100,000 people were left homeless by the quake – problematic given the icy temperatures in Kermanshah province, especially at
Kermanshah officials believe the number of victims could be many times greater than the figure stated by the Interior Ministry. Many of those killed were buried before being officially registered as dead, the officials said.