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.
Stop creating a climate of fear! 2014 08 27 ok. listen up political correct people! if you’re someone who reflexively calls others “racists” or “neofascists” without first checking into whether or not they actually are, you need to STOP it, because you’re creating a climate of fear in which people are afraid to do their jobs.
and now i’m not talking about some academics sitting comfortably in their ivy towers, ...
Gov. Jerry Brown to Mexican Illegals: ’You’re All Welcome in California’ 2014 08 27 On Monday evening, California Governor Jerry Brown said all Mexicans, including illegal immigrants, are welcome in California.
According to the Los Angeles Times, while introducing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who said America is "the other Mexico," Brown "spoke about the interwoven histories of Mexico and California." He "nodded to the immigrants in the room, saying it didn’t matter if ...
Election Posters in New Sweden 2014 08 27 Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has promised continued mass immigration at the expense of welfare reform and tax cuts. Reinfeldt’s Moderates party consequently does everything in their power to recruit immigrants’ votes. Placards for the forthcoming elections, widely distributed in immigrant-dominated enclaves in Sweden, has Arabic text, the language that now increasingly is dominating major parts of "New Sweden."
In the ...
Gender Madness 2014 08 27 Gender Madness - RT
RT: "Tanya, a mathematician from Sweden, is writing a blog about gender madness. She wants to find its origins. She discusses the topic with different people, meets some gender specialists and even considers conducting some experiments."
Yes, this is a very erratic and "different" short film, but Kajsa Bergkvist, the girl making the film has a ...
Could Greece’s mystery tomb lie intact? Well-preserved headless sphinxes 2014 08 27 Well-preserved headless sphinxes hint that grave dating back to Alexander the Great
Archaeologists are hopeful that an ancient mound in northern Greece could hold the untouched remains of an important senior official from the time of Alexander the Great.
Excavations at the ‘incredibly important’ tomb have revealed a pair of sphinxes guarding the grave’s entrance.
The two sculptures were found under an arch ...