Rouhani tours Iran earthquake devastation; death toll beyond 450

By Sara Shayanian  |  Nov. 14, 2017 at 7:26 AM
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Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited earthquake-ravaged areas on Tuesday in the aftermath of the 7.3 magnitude quake that's killed more than 450 people.

Rouhani traveled to Iran's Kermanshah province -- one of the hardest hit regions -- to extend condolences and oversee recovery efforts there. He assured those affected by the quake that Tehran would do everything possible to help, including ordering the ministry of energy to troubleshoot water and power outages in devastated areas.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei sent his sincere condolences to the families of the dead.

"I sadly received news about an earthquake in the western part of the country, which resulted in the death and injury of a number of dear fellow countrymen and caused a lot of damage," he said.

More than 450 people were killed in Sunday's major earthquake and over 7,000 others were injured. Nearly 12,000 homes have been ruined, officials said.

Meanwhile, condolences and offers to help have poured in from around the world.

"The United States expresses its sincere condolences to all of those affected by the earthquake in Iran and Iraq," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. "We keep the families of those who were killed and injured in our thoughts as well as the communities that have suffered damage."

Russian President Vladimir Putin also offered his sympathies.

"Please accept sincere sympathy and support for the relatives and friends of those who perished and wishes of early convalescence to all survivors of this calamity," he said.

Pope Francis said he was "deeply saddened" and assured victims "prayerful solidarity."

Leaders from Canada, India, Armenia, Turkey, Britain, Germany, Greece and Kuwait have also reached out to Tehran.

The quake's epicenter was located in Ezgeleh -- a border town adjacent to Iraq -- and struck at a depth of nearly 7 miles.

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