Turkey quake: Iran sends rescue teams

2011-10-24 12:37
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Turkey earthquake

A devastating earthquake killed at least 459 people and injured hundreds after it hit parts of southeast Turkey.

Tehran - Iran's Red Crescent has sent rescue teams, ambulances and a field hospital to Turkey to help out in the wake of a devastating quake there, the state news agency IRNA reported on Monday.

Mahmoud Mozafar, the head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society, was quoted as saying that "Turkish officials have defined an area in the Van region for Iranian rescuers to bring medical assistance to the injured".

Iran has sent 20 rescuers, 20 ambulances, a field hospital, food supplies and 50 tents for emergency shelter to the quake-hit region in Turkey, which lies just over the border with Iran, Mozafar said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi telephoned his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, to express his condolences over the loss of life suffered in the disaster.

The powerful 7.2-magnitude temblor struck on Sunday near Van, in eastern Turkey, killing at least 217 people and trapping many others in shattered buildings.

Turkey's interior ministry said more than 1 000 people were injured.

The quake was felt in north-western Iran, causing panic but no deaths or serious damage, according to Iranian media.

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