Two boys walk past a building in Darbandikhan that was levelled in Sunday’s earthquake. Photo: Sartip Othman/Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The death toll of Sunday’s earthquake that struck the border between Iraqi and Iranian Kurdistan’s has risen to 10 in the Kurdistan Region.
More than 500 people were injured mainly in the areas of Darbandikhan, Halabja, Kalar and Khanaqin the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) announced in a press report on Tuesday.
The number of casualties may rise due to aftershocks which occurred on Monday night.
Massive damage to private and public property was also reported by IFRC teams in Sulaimani, including Darbandikhan dam along with the Halabja hospital and the Sulaimani hospital.
The Iraqi Red Crescent Society (IRCS) were the first responders after the earthquake struck the area, which has been deemed the deadliest of 2017. IRCS volunteers are providing urgent search and rescue, first aid and relief to earthquake victims.
A Turkish military cargo plane carrying medical supplies and a search-and-rescue team also landed in Sulaimani on Monday to aid the victims, Turkey's Health Minister Ahmet Demircan confirmed.
Demircan added dispatching the aid was not at Baghdad's request, but that they decided to do so, a move which was appreciated by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
It was announced on Tuesday that the Iraqi government has approved additional funds to support areas affected by Sunday night's earthquake.
A 10 billion dinar (about $8,584,000) "emergency fund" was allocated to the Ministry of Health for medical supplies.
The 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck near Halabja, Kurdistan Region, near the Iran-Iraq border Sunday evening could be felt throughout the Middle East.
Kurdish health officials had previously announced shortages of medicines and supplies.
KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani visited Darbandikhan on Tuesday where he vowed to compensate the victims and that special teams were filing reports of the damage.
The Kurdish government said that the EU has promised to cover the cost of repairs to the dam.