Iran revises quake toll down to 227 dead, 1,380 hurt
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
TEHRAN, Iran, Aug 12: Iran on Sunday revised downwards a toll from twin earthquakes that hammered the northwest the day before, saying a total 227 people died and 1,380 were injured, state television reported.
Interior Minister Moustafa Mohammad-Najjar, who gave the tally, added that "search and rescue operations have ended and we are now working to ensure survivors´ needs in terms of shelter and food."
The new toll was down from a previous interior ministry count of 250 dead and 2,000 hurt given hours earlier.
Mohammad-Najjar told the television that half of the 600 villages located in the disaster zone had been damaged or destroyed.
The quakes, which struck Saturday within 11 minutes of each other, measured 6.4 and 6.3 on the moment magnitude scale, according to the US Geological Survey which monitors earthquakes worldwide.
Their epicentres were close to the towns of Ahar and Varzeghan, about 60 kilometres (40 miles) from the city of Tabriz.
Iranian residents rescue a woman in the rubble of a house in Sourmah village, near the town of Varzaqan, after twin earthquakes hit northwestern Iran. (AFP)
Iranian residents and rescue workers search for the survivors in the rubble. (AFP)