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Iranian Red Crescent leads response to earthquake

Iranian Red Crescent leads response to Zarand earthquake

The Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) is leading the response to the earthquake that shook the south-eastern Iranian province of Kerman this morning, killing at least 270 people and injuring more than 1,000.

The tremor, which measured 6.4 on the Richter scale, was centred near the town of Zarand, 70 km east of Kerman city, and some 250 km from the city of Bam, which was destroyed in a powerful earthquake in December 2003.

Major towns have apparently escaped serious damage, though 40 villages had been affected. The IRCS said one village, Dahoone, had been entirely destroyed, while in another, Houtkan, 80 per cent of the buildings had been destroyed.

The Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS), which has a mandate from the government to coordinate rescue and relief services in disasters, has deployed teams from the neighbouring provinces of Esfahan, Sistan and Baluchestan, Yazd and Hormozgan, as well as from 10 cities in Kerman.

In addition to the IRCS helicopters despatched to the region, the government has provided three aeroplanes to transport Red Crescent relief items. The disaster response teams are currently carrying out rescue and relief activities and conducting assessments to ascertain the extent of damage and the level of needs among the affected population.

Access to the some of the affected villages is difficult. The weather in the region is very cold, and the IRCS teams are distributing tents, blankets and foodstuffs

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