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News number: 9104253867

14:15 | 2012-08-12

Foriegn Policy

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Pakistan Offers Help to Iran after Deadly Quake

TEHRAN (FNA)- Pakistani officials on Sunday announced Islamabad's preparedness to provide the necessary assistance to Tehran after devastating earthquakes in Iran's Northwestern province of East Azarbaijan killed and injured several hundred people.

In a letter to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf expressed his sympathy to Iran for the casualties in the recent deadly earthquake.

"Our prayers are with our brothers and sisters in Iran affected by this natural calamity," the message said.

Ashraf offered to extend assistance to the government and people of Iran, and issued directives to the concerned authorities in Pakistan to immediately establish contact with their counterparts in Iran.

"Natural disasters pose a serious challenge to all our countries. No region is immune to it. We need to develop a comprehensive strategy at the national, regional and international levels in order to deal with natural disasters," the Pakistani prime minister state.d

Iranian officials announced on Sunday that at least 250 people have been killed and over 1,800 others injured by the Saturday earthquakes.

"According to the latest reports, 250 people have been killed and more than 1,800 others have been injured by the two earthquakes which shook the East Azarbaijan province yesterday," Iran's Deputy Interior Minister Hassan Qaddami told FNA on Sunday.

The official mentioned that the rescue and relief operations have ended, and added, "A number of 110 villages have been damaged."

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.

"We hope that the death toll will not increase any more," Qaddami said.

He also said the interior minister has arrived in the quake-stricken areas and presided over crisis-management meetings.