Iran quake: Death toll soars to more than 450

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The casualties and damage were limited to only Iran and Iraq, though.

Iran's western Kermanshah province experienced the worst damage in that country.

Seven towns and almost 2,000 villages were damaged, with some villages completely wiped from the map.

"We are hungry. We are cold".

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged state agencies on Tuesday to speed up aid efforts.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has visited the quake-stricken area and promised the government "will use all its power to resolve the problems in the shortest time". State television said thousands were huddling in makeshift camps while many others spent a second night in the open for fear of more tremors after some 193 aftershocks.

In some areas, no building was left standing and those that were had been deserted for fear they could come crashing down at any moment.

Houses in Iranian villages are often made of concrete blocks or mudbrick that can crumble and collapse in a strong quake. All the relatives were there.like 50 people.

Rouhani said in Sarpol-e-Zahab that the government would look into what went wrong at the Mehr homes, some of which his administration handed over. "Where is the aid?"

Seven deaths occurred in Iraq and 535 people were injured, all in the country's northern, semiautonomous Kurdish region, according to its Interior Ministry. Television showed footage of rescue workers frantically combing through the rubble of dozens of villages immediately after the quake. But by Tuesday morning Iranian officials said there was no longer any likelihood of finding survivors and called off the search.

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More than 500 people were injured in both provinces and the nearby province of Kirkuk.

Thousands of Iranians on Tuesday spent a third night in the cold as authorities scrambled to help those made homeless by a major quake that killed more than 400 people.

The head of the Revolutionary Guards, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said the immediate need was for tents, water and food.

My family lives in a village near Sarpol-e Zahab. Groups clustered around bonfires trying to warm themselves.

Authorities say the quake destroyed more than 12,000 homes and local reports say many people are still in need of tents and blankets. He said 80 per cent of the buildings in the town had been damaged.

"More people will die because of cold. Last night I cried when I saw children with no food or shelter".

Rouhani inspected the damage in the province and offered his support.

"The people should build their own houses".

"The faults and shortcomings in the construction of these buildings should be investigated", he said. "I promise you, those responsible will be punished".

The quake was centred 30.6km outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja, according to the most recent measurements from the US Geological Survey.

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