Rescue operations have ended in Iran after two strong earthquakes that killed at least 250 people, the semi-official Fars news agency reported Sunday.
Another 1,800 people were injured in the quakes that shook East Azarbaijan province in northwest Iran on Saturday, the report said, citing Deputy Interior Minister Hassan Qaddami.
State-run Press TV said more than 2,000 were injured, while the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency said the death toll could be as high as 300.
Scores of villages were destroyed or damaged by the quakes.
Qaddami, speaking to Fars, said a total of 110 villages were damaged.
"All those under debris have been rescued and the quake-stricken people are now being provided with their basic needs," said Qaddami.
Thousands of tents were set up throughout the stricken region, and tens of thousands of cans of food were distributed, Iranian officials said.
The quakes damaged historic monuments, including the roof of Shahabeddin Ahari’s tomb and the Qasem Khan Ahari house, among other sites, Press TV said.
Pope Benedict XVI said his thoughts were with those affected, as well as others facing natural disasters, IRNA reported. Other world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, expressed condolences. The United Arab Emirates offered assistance, IRNA reported.
The quakes struck near Tabriz, the country’s fourth-largest city.
The cities of Ahar and Varzagan are the hardest hit, Khalil Saei, the provincial director of crisis management, told IRNA.
The first earthquake, with a magnitude of 6.4, hit Saturday at 4:53 p.m. local time, 37 miles northeast of Tabriz, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, which measured 11 aftershocks. Just 11 minutes later, a second quake, measuring 6.3, struck 30 miles northeast of Tabriz.
A series of aftershocks followed, including one measuring 4.4 magnitude, according to the USGS. There were no immediate reports of further damage or casualties.
Authorities asked residents to spend the night outdoors as a safety precaution.
Iran sits on major fault lines -- the collision of the Arabia and Eurasia plates -- and has been prone to devastating earthquakes.
Nine years ago, 30,000 people died in an earthquake in Bam in southeastern Kerman province. In 1990, about 50,000 were killed in a quake near the Caspian Sea.
Google’s New Computer With Human-Like Learning Abilities Will Program Itself 2014 10 30
In college, it wasn’t rare to hear a verbal battle regarding artificial intelligence erupt between my friends studying neuroscience and my friends studying computer science.
One rather outrageous fellow would mention the possibility of a computer takeover, and off they went. The neuroscience-savvy would awe at the potential of such hybrid technology as the CS majors argued we have nothing to ...
Former Cop Headed to Trial for Raping a Child While Other Officers Watched 2014 10 30
Pharr, TX — Trial is set to begin December 1, in the case of former Pharr police officer Erasmo Mata, Jr., accused of repeated first-degree felony sexual assaults of a child.
A federal civil lawsuit filed with Texas Southern District Court back in May accused Mata of assaulting the minor five times, on five separate occasions, all while on duty. ...
It Has Been Decided; Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton in ’16 2014 10 28
NY Times: The Bushes, Led by W., Rally to Make Jeb ‘45 ’
As Jeb Bush nears a decision to become the third member of his storied family to seek the presidency, the extended Bush clan and its attendant network are largely rallying behind the prospect and pulling the old machine out of the closet.
Rebuttal by The Anti-New York ...
Hillary – Says Business does NOT Create Jobs – Washington Does? 2014 10 28 We have a very serious problem with Hillary. I was asked years ago to review Hillary’s Commodity Trading to explain what went on. Effectively, they did trades and simply put winners in her account and the losers in her lawyer’s. This way she gets money that is laundered through the markets – something that would get her 25 years today.