The north-western Iran, Trabiz, a city with 1.5 million residents was hit by two major earthquakes this Saturday. At least 180 people were killed and 1,350 injured in rural areas according to Saie Khalil, the head of the Center of natural disasters in East Azerbaijan. “Some 60 villages were completely damaged, we ask people not to panic. Aid is arriving and relief workers are already in place, “he said. The provisional toll could rise, the Institute U.S. Geological Survey estimated the first quake at 6.4 and 6.3 second according to the scale used for earthquakes above magnitude 5. The epicenters were located respectively in Varzeghan and Ahar, about sixty kilometers from Tabriz and some ten kilometers underground, hit the region at 4:53 p.m. (2:23 p.m., hours of Paris ) and 5:04 p.m. (2:34 p.m., hours of Paris ).
Several aftershocks were felt in the region. Sixty villages destroyed “There are 45 dead in Ahar, Varzeghan 40 dead, 50 dead and 18 wounded Heris died in hospital of Tabriz,” said Vice-Minister of the Interior . According to the Ministry of Health , there are also 700 injured. The head of the Center of natural disasters in East Azerbaijan said, “60 villages were destroyed between 60 and 80% and 100% in four villages.” In Tabriz, the damage would be only hardware but the inhabitants, terrified, went to the streets after fleeing their homes. An official with the Interior Ministry, Morteza Akbarpour for his part said that “50 people injured in Varzeghan due to the earthquake had been transferred to the hospital “, according to Fars. He asked residents of areas affected by the earthquake “not to sleep at home tonight.” “Currently, 66 rescue groups, 185 ambulances, 40 helicopters to locate survivors under the rubble are on site and seven teams working with dogs, “said an official of the relief operations, was quoted by the official IRNA news agency. Rescuers are unable to access certain areas “Access to the villages of the region is cut and we did that telephone contact with them, “had initially said Mahmoud Mozafar, head of rescue operations of Iranian Red Crescent in Mehr news agency. He said that helicopters and rescue teams were sent to the region. A spokesman for the firefighters of Tabriz said on his side to the ISNA news agency that “the electricity was cut off in most areas and there is a monster traffic in the city.” The Iran is located on several major fault lines and has experienced many devastating earthquakes. The deadliest earthquake in recent years has killed 31,000 people, a quarter of the population in the city of Bam (South) in December 2003.