Iran pledges swift aid after major quake kills 400


At least 530 people were killed and over 8,000 others injured in the 7.3 magnitude quake that rattled the border region between Iraq and Iran late on Sunday, according to the latest report of Iran's state news agency. Some structures appeared unscathed.

"Newly constructed buildings... Held up well, but the old houses built with earth were totally destroyed", he told state television as he visited the affected region.

But more aid was still needed. The casualties and damage were limited to only Iran and Iraq, though.

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.

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Rouhani vowed not to forget about the people and rural areas affected by the natural disaster: "11,000 rural houses and about 4,500 urban houses were destroyed in this quake and we need to build 30,000 new houses".

Iran has declared Tuesday a national day of mourning.

"We are living in a tent and we don't have enough food or water", he said.

To show solidarity with the Kurdish-majority province hit by the quake, a state newspaper printed a headline in Kurdish, which read "Iran cries with Kermanshah". Iranian army helicopters are taking part in the relief effort.

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The Tabnak agency offered a little hope, with the report that a girl named Avna had been born in one of the devastated region's three hospitals.

The area sees frequent seismic activity. In Iran's Kermanshah province killed 61 people, more than 300 were injured.

At least 339 people have been killed in the quake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale.

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