Olympic weightlifter auctions gold medal for Iran quake victims

Elias Hubbard
November 14, 2017

More than half of the casualties are from Kurdish-majority town of Sarpol-e Zahab in Kermansh province.

Numerous damaged buildings were built during former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad administration, though some of them were completed and handed over to the residents under Rouhani.

Iran's Olympic weightlifting champion Kianoush Rostami has put his gold medal up for auction to raise money for the victims of Sunday's quake which left at least 452 people dead in Iran and Iraq.

Some now-homeless survivors simply wept outside while others angrily showed Associated Press journalists the destruction done by the quake.

Kermanshah, an nearly entirely Kurdish province nestled in the Zagros Mountains that run along the border with Iraq, suffered all of Iran's fatalities from the temblor Sunday night that shook 14 of the country's 31 provinces.

Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency is reporting that 445 people were killed and 7,370 injured in the Sunday natural disaster along the Iran-Iraq border.

Official reports had put death toll at 407. The only hospital in the town was heavily damaged and the army set field hospitals.

Major General Jafari said the IRGC has mobilized efforts to rescue people in rural areas while the Army units have focused their relief operation on Sarpol-e-Zahab, a city hit hardest by the Sunday night quake. "Representing the nation of Iran, I offer my condolences to the people of Kermanshah and tell them that all of us are behind Kermanshah".

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 quake in western Iran. Mr Moezi said there was a need for more relief material and "security".

Seven people were killed in Iraq and 535 were injured, all in the country's northern, semi-autonomous Kurdish region, according to its Interior Ministry.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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