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Over 250 people killed in Iran’s devastating quake

August 12, 2012, 10:37 UTC+3

Many people remain trapped under the rubble, and the search is hindered

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TEHRAN, August 12 (Itar-Tass) — Over 250 people were killed and another 2,000 injured in a series of devastating quakes that hit northwestern Iran on Saturday, the state-run television IRI reported on Sunday.

Iran’s Deputy Interior Minister Hassan Gadami said the quakes destroyed houses and apartment buildings in Iran’s 110 villages.

Rescuers from the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent Society are clearing the rubble in the affected regions.

“Many people remain trapped under the rubble, and the search is hindered,” emergencies department chief Golam Reza Masumi said.

The first quake measuring 6.4 points was registered at 16:53 local time (16:23 Moscow time) on Saturday, 60 kilometers to the northeast of Tabriz, the province’s administrative center. Its epicenter was at a depth of 9.9 kilometers. The second tremor struck near the town of Varazkan, 49 kilometers to the northeast of Tabriz, 11 minutes later. It measured 6.3 points. About fifty aftershocks rattled later.

The towns of Ahar, Varazkan and Hariz were worst hit.

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