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China Daily Website

306 killed, 3000 injured in twin quakes in Iran

2012-08-14 10:19

By (Xinhua)

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's Health Minister, Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, said Monday that the death toll of Saturday's strong twin quakes in northwest Iran has risen to 306, and 3037 others have been injured, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

Dastjerdi told Iran's Majlis (parliament) on Monday that all others who were buried under the damaged buildings were rescued, according to Fars.

She added that 116 aftershocks have been registered in the area in the past three days.

On Sunday, Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency reported that some 5,000 people were injured in the tremor.

Head of Iran's Red Crescent Society Abolhassan Faqih said two quakes (which jolted East Azerbaijan province and were felt in four other Iranian provinces) "have damaged 230 villages in Varzeghan, Heris and Ahar regions from 70 to 100 percent", according to Fars.

In a statement issued by the governor general of East Azerbaijan province on Sunday, two days of mourning was announced in the province.

Turkey, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States have offered help to the Islamic republic over the quake incident but Iran's Red Crescent Society has said that it has dealt with the issue itself.      

A 6.2-magnitude temblor, with a depth of 10 km, hit Ahar at 4: 53 pm (GMT 1223) Saturday, while another 6-magnitude earthquake, also with a depth of 10 km, struck nearby Varzaqan at 5:04 pm ( GMT 1234), according to Iranian Seismological Center.

On December 26, 2003, a 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit Iran's southern region of Bam. Over 30,000 died and 50,000 were injured, and 70 percent of the residential buildings in the region were reduced to debris.