A 7.3-magnitude natural disaster on the Iran-Iraq border leaves hundreds dead

Armenian PM extends condolences to First Vice-President of Iran on devastating earthquake

Besides, Mohammad Ali Bosaqzadeh, deputy for production control at the National Petrochemical Company, said that the strong natural disaster has damaged neither the petrochemical plants in western provinces nor the West Ethylene Pipeline that runs from Asalouyeh by the Persian Gulf to West Azarbaijan province in northwest Iran.

Iran's sporting community has always been beside the people during natural calamities such as the 2003 Bam quake in Bam City, Kerman Province, in which more than 26,000 were killed and over 30,000 were injured. But in the more isolated and worst-hit Sunni localities, Sunni charities-including those of Islah and Dawa Group, an Iranian Islamist group close to the Muslim Brotherhood-were said to have arrived on the scene first with tents and water.

Rescuers used heavy equipment to dig through the debris of toppled buildings on Tuesday and the government scrambled to get aid to the worst-hit Kermanshah province where hundreds of homes were destroyed, the BBC reported.

"The movement of different layers under the earth has muddied the water supply in the city and so we can't provide water until the mud settles", said the governor of Qasr-e Shirin, Faramarz Akbari.

"The tents provided by the Red Crescent are not enough", said the region's parliamentary representative, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, according to the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA).

"The weather is turning colder now".

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif thanked foreign countries offering to help but wrote on Twitter: "For now, we are able to manage with our own resources".

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"We need everything. The authorities should speed up their help", one homeless young woman in Sarpol-e-Zahab, where most of the victims died, told Reuters news agency.

"I call on all governmental and military officials and all NGOs to help the Housing Foundation and do not do separate work". Numerous villages affected by quake were very remote and hard to reach, said Bagheri.

"I found myself responsible to take a step, however small, to help my countrymen by selling my medal", Rostami said. The Iranian Red Crescent Society workers and the army soldiers were helpful.

Official estimates put the death toll at more than 500.

"The priority now is for emergency sheltering and food", she said.

While visiting the region on Tuesday, a national day of mourning, President Hassan Rouhani pointed out that many privately-built homes appeared to have been spared damage.

Iran's Olympic weightlifting champion Kianoush Rostami put his Rio Olympics 2016 gold medal for auction to raise money for the quake-stricken areas.

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