The Iranian Red Crescent used rescue dogs to search for survivors, as it has since an earthquake in the southern city of Bam in 2003 that killed a lot more than 20,000 people. The country’s religious leaders regard pups as unclean, but the application of guard and rescue pups is accepted.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was simply president of Iran from 2005 to 2013, introduced a program to build low-income housing, including on Pol-e Zahab. After the quake on Sunday, his political opponents said that most of the buildings had been poorly constructed, but his defenders said that the structures were on fault lines, and that nothing could have been done.
Preliminary reports from the Kurdish region of Iraq indicated less damage and fewer deaths in that side of the border. In Sulaimaniya, the second-largest city in Iraq’s Kurdish region, residents described feeling major tremors but said there is no notable building destruction. Citizens in the oil-rich area of Kirkuk, roughly 50 miles to the west, reported comparable damage.
Ali Namiq, a resident of the town Darbandikhan, Iraq, said a setting up was flattened by the quake. “The setting up fell on a seven-member spouse and children,” he informed Reuters. “We were able to rescue simply five out of these, while the two others were killed. It had been the first period for me to discover an earthquake. This is a divine action that no one can prevent.”
In the town of Kalar, Iraq, the quake sent items tumbling from shelves in a supermarket, triggering shoppers to flee.
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The quake occurred about 20 miles south of the Iraqi city of Halabja, where Saddam Hussein’s government launched a poison gas attack that killed a lot more than 5,000 people, mostly Kurds, on March 16, 1988, in the closing days and nights of the Iran-Iraq war.
The earthquake was felt so far as the Mediterranean coast of Israel. Shiite pilgrims in the Iraqi city of Karbala, for the total annual religious commemoration of Arba’een, submitted videos of people gathering on the streets after the earthquake.
Iran lies on dozens of fault lines and is prone to quakes. In 2012, a double earthquake in the north of the country killed 300 people. When residents discovered of the government’s lackluster relief efforts, some started organizing help groups themselves. After that quake, the United States, which does not maintain regular diplomatic relations with Iran, sent more than a few planeloads of aid.