Toll in Iran-Iraq quake rises to 530

EU ready to help Iran ad Iraq in earthquake aftermath

About 540 people were killed and close to 8,000 injured when the quake hit near the Iran-Iraq border on Sunday, reports BBC.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited the town of Sarpol-e Zahab, one of the worst hit by the November 12 quake, on November 14 and gave a speech in which he asserted that the collapse of recently built buildings "should be investigated".

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

Thousands of homes were destroyed in the quake, which rocked a region spanning Iran's western province of Kermanshah and neighbouring Iraqi Kurdistan. It was one of the strongest on earth this year, as well as the deadliest.

The town centre was clogged with traffic as people from the surrounding province rushed to help with rescue efforts.

Survivors spent Monday night in makeshift camps or in the open.

"It is a very cold night".

In a televised interview on Monday, IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said his forces are working in close cooperation with the Army to help victims of the massive natural disaster in western Iran.

One aid agency said 70,000 people needed shelter and the United Nations said it was "ready to assist if required".

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Rouhani Tuesday visited the town of Sar-e Pol-e Zahab, worst hit by the quake.

On Tuesday afternoon, residents of Sar-e Pol-e Zahab helped police evacuate an elderly man, his face caked in blood, from a home at risk of imminent collapse. "Our engineers?" He said the government would hold accountable anyone found not to have upheld building standards.

As many as 3,950 people have been injured, Iran's Tasnim news agency said.

The magnitude 7.3 natural disaster struck Sunday night Iran time, just as people were going to bed.

The head of the elite Revolutionary Guards, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said the immediate need was for tents, water and food. "The faults and shortcomings in the construction of these buildings should be investigated".

Rouhani said all aid would be channelled through the Housing Foundation, one of the charitable trusts set up after the Islamic revolution of 1979 that are major players in the Iranian economy.

Also, 40 ambulances, 55 4WD vehicles, 9 rescue vehicles, and 5 helicopters have been dispatched by Relief and Rescue Organisation of the Iranian Red Crescent Society from the first hours of the morning for assistance.

The official IRNA news agency said 30 Red Crescent teams had been sent to the area.

The natural disaster struck at 21:18 local time (18:18 GMT) on Sunday, about 30km (19 miles) south of Darbandikhan in Iraq, near the north-eastern border with Iran. Tremors were felt as far away as Turkey, Israel, Kuwait and Pakistan.

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