Rescue operations continue in Iran’s western regions that were hit by a deadly earthquake on Sunday night. President Hassan Rouhani has personally traveled to Kermanshah Province to inspect the damage and help speed up recovery efforts.
Upon arrival at Kermanshah Airport on Tuesday, Rouhani extended condolences on behalf of the Iranian nation to the quake-stricken people of Kermanshah.
He also thanked the people, officials and the countries that had expressed sympathy with those affected by the natural disaster, giving assurances that the government will do all in its power to to solve the problems facing the region in the shortest possible time.
Rouhani assured the injured and those who have lost their homes and possessions that the government will stand by them and do its best to help them.
The Iranian Army, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), the Basij, the Red Crescent and the Islamic Revolution Housing Foundation as well as the ministries of energy, interior affairs, health, and roads and urban development were all providing assistance, he added.
The president is due to attend an emergency session in Kermanshah later in the day.
The quake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale rattled the border region between Iran and Iraq on Sunday night, causing extensive damage and loss of life.
According to the latest figures, nearly 430 people have lost their lives and over 7,000 others sustained injuries in the tremor. Some 12,000 homes have also been completely destroyed in the incident.
Iranian aid institutions and relief workers have been working round the clock to attend to the injured and provide the survivors with their basic needs.
Along with officials, Iranian people have also mobilized in response to the natural disaster to help decrease the sufferings of their compatriots, with many donating blood and preparing aid packages.
A delegation representing Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei as well as Head of Khatam-al Anbiya Construction Headquarters Commander Brigadier Ebadollah Abdollahi have visited the earthquake-affected areas.
Meanwhile, messages of the condolences continue to pour in from around the world.
The US has offered condolences to the affected Iranian and Iraqi nationals.
“The United States expresses its sincere condolences to all of those affected by the earthquake in Iran and Iraq. We keep the families of those who were killed, and injured, in our thoughts as well as the communities that have suffered damage to homes and property,” said US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert on Monday.
Also, Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, has said he is “deeply saddened” by news of the quake and assured all those affected of his “prayerful solidarity.”
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, said that the Pope had sent a telegram to leaders in both Iran and Iraq, praying for the injured, the emergency personnel and civil authorities engaged in rescue efforts.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif appreciated the messages of sympathy from around the world.
“Heartbreaking images from the earthquake damage and loss of life in Kermanshah (and in Iraq). We are grateful for global expressions of sympathy and offers of assistance. For now, we can manage with our own resources. Many thanks for all offers and we will keep you posted,” he tweeted.