Some of the injured are treated at a clinic in Kalar in the Kurdistan Region’s southern district of Sulaimani province late on November 25, 2018. Photo: Rudaw TV
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The number of people injured in the earthquake that struck Kurdistan on the Iran-Iraq border rose to more than 700 in Iran and more than 6,000 families are in tents as Iranian officials scramble response efforts on Monday.
The Iranian Red Crescent Society reported 716 people were injured. It has recorded no deaths. Other reports say that between two and six people have died on both sides of the border.
"A small number of earthquake victims were admitted to the hospitals," Kermanshah governor Hooshang Busbund told IRNA.
He explained that the hospitals themselves were in good condition and they are reassessing response to the affected areas.
The Red Crescent said that the majority of people who were injured have been treated in outpatient facilities and 33 were admitted to hospital with more serious injuries.
Emergency organizations were busy overnight assisting the affected areas, bringing the injured to hospitals and makeshift camps while temperatures hovered around freezing.
In the province of Kermanshah, 14,124 tents have been distributed to displaced individuals, head of the Iran Relief and Rescue Organization Morteza Salami told IRNA.
“Red Crescent has dispatched 87 assessment and relief teams, including rescue in debris and sniffer dog teams to the affected regions,” said Salami.
The aid agency has provided food supplies, tents, water, and blankets as well as five helicopters to help in relief efforts.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in a phone call with the Kermanshah governor, prioritized providing temporary shelter for people affected by the earthquake and promised the government will respond quickly to problems, IRNA reported.
At least 37 people have been transported to Tehran for specialized care, according to Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency, citing the Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences.
The agency reported there was not a high level of acute trauma as many of the survivors were injured while trying to escape.
The quake struck at 16:37:31 (UTC) at a depth of 65 kilometers (40 miles) near Sarpol-e Zahab, 114 km northwest of the city of Ilam, close to Iran’s border with Iraq. Tremors were felt in Erbil, Baghdad, and as far away as Kuwait.
At least 161 aftershocks have been registered, according to the Iranian Red Crescent Society.
Kermanshah is one of three predominately Kurdish provinces in western Iran which border the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
The Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) Joint Crisis Coordination Centre (JCC) announced Sunday night that one person in the Garmiyan administration died in a hospital. It initially put the total number of injured in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq at 43.
Patients are treated at a medical facility in Kalar, Kurdistan Region, on November 25, 2018. Video: Rudaw TV
"I was sleeping when the earthquake took place. Then, people started to shout. So when I tried to run, I slide and fell down," said one person at a clinic in Garmiyan whose right hand was broken.
Aram Ahmed, the acting director of Kalar Emergency Hospital, said on Sunday night that two people died.
"So far 52 people have been hospitalized and two people have died as a result of the earthquake," he said.
Because of last year's earthquake and string of aftershocks locals regularly pour into the streets with any minor tremors.
"I was sitting at home when the earthquake took place ... we were all terrified," an old woman said of the shaking.
It comes just over a year after a 7.3 magnitude quake hit the same region, causing widespread damage and killing more than 600 people.
Iran was criticized for a lackluster response to last year's earthquake that was the deadliest of 2018.
This is a developing story... Updated at 12:44 pm