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News number: 9104253875

14:29 | 2012-08-12

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Iran Ends Rescue, Relief Operations in Quake-Hit Regions

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran said the rescue and relief operations in the quake-hit areas in the country's Northwestern province of East Azarbaijan ended, but massive operations are underway to meet the needs of the people in the affected areas.



"Although identification and search for the victims have finished, the emergency squads are still in the crisis-hit areas and are providing service to the people, specially those injured in the quake," Head of Iran's Emergency Center Gholamreza Ma'soumi told FNA on Sunday.

He announced that the number of the wounded people in Ahar and Varzaqan passed 2,000 this morning, adding that 945 of them are in hospitals to receive treatment but unfortunately 35 of them have lost their lives so far.

Meantime, Spokesman of the Relief and Rescue Organization of the Iranian Red Crescent Society Hossein Derakhshan said 5,626 tents have been allocated for temporary settlement of the people in the affected areas.

An earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale jolted Ahar in East Azerbaijan province at 16:00 hours local time (1130GMT) Saturday. The epicenter of the quake was located in an area 46.8 degrees in longitude and 38.4 degrees in latitude.

Almost an hour later another quake with magnitude 6 on the Richter scale jolted Varzaqan at 17:04 hours local time (1234GMT) in the same province. The epicenter of the quake was located in an area 46.7 degrees in longitude and 38.4 degrees in latitude.

Iran's Deputy Interior Minister Hassan Qaddami told FNA on Sunday that 250 people have been killed by the two earthquakes.

"A number of 110 villages have been damaged," he stated.

According to provincial officials, 4 villages have been destroyed completely, while 60 others have sustained damage from 50 to 80 percent in Ahar region.

Also, local officials said that 12 villages have been destroyed completely in Varzaqan region.

Iran sits astride several major faults in the earth's crust, and is prone to frequent earthquakes, many of which have been devastating.