Yesterday, November 12,an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 caused hundreds of casualties in the Iraq-Iran border. 11 people died and thousands are wounded in Iraq, while in Iran the earthquake killed around 348 people and left 6,603 wounded. The devastated areas show entire buildings which had crumbled by the powerful tremor. The epicenter of the earthquake was located at a distance of 31 kilometres from the city of Halabja, 240km North-East of Baghdad, and about 15km from the Iranian border, but the shock waves have been felt by millions of people in Central Asia.
Iraqi authorities have ordered urgent evacuation in the area surrounding the Darbandiyan hydroelectric power station. It is feared that many people will be buried under the rubble. Iran’s authorities also sent the country’s armed forces to give emergency help. According to the Mehr News agency, the Iraqi prime minister thanked Iran for its collaboration with Iraq.
Pope Francis “expresses his sorrow towards all those who weep for the loss of their loved ones” and “offers his prayers for the dead”. The Pope also “invokes divine blessings of consolation and strength” for the wounded and for those who work in the search and rescue.