Iran keeps mum on quake as Turkish agency awaits
Iranians clear a route in Gosht district after an earthquake hit southeastern Iran. AP photoAfter a major earthquake on April 16 that damaged hundreds of homes and killed at least 41 people, Iranian authorities have not issued a statement about accepting international aid on their territory.
Turkish officials from the Prime Ministry’s Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) told the Hürriyet Daily News that they had told Iranian authorities via the Foreign Ministry that they were ready to provide humanitarian aid. AFAD officials said they were only able to follow the situation in the neighboring country in the press.
As Iran has not yet called for international humanitarian aid, Turkish aid is being kept waiting at the border, AFAD said. According to the information the Daily News received from AFAD, search and rescue teams, including Turkey’s Search and Rescue Association (AKUT) and National Medical Rescue (UMKE), are waiting in Istanbul, and in the eastern provinces of Erzurum and Van, bordering cities with Iran.
The 7.8-magnitude quake on Iran’s border with Pakistan, the country’s most powerful in five decades, sparked a military rescue effort in the remote region. The Red Crescent rushed 400 tents to shelter some 1,700 people who lost their homes in the quake. The United States also offered aid after the quake, which damaged an estimated 2,000 mud-built homes in Mashkail, a town in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan.
The area’s scattered population made determining the death toll difficult, according to officials.