Iran quake: Death toll on the rise
The seismological base of Tehran University's
Geophysics Institute said Saturday quakes, measuring from 1.6 to 5.5 on Richter scale, hit Baladeh region in the northern province of Mazandaran for 65 times during 12 hours.
A powerful earthquake, measuring 5.5 degrees on the Richter scale,struck vast parts of Iranian northern cities at 17:08 hours local time (1238 GMT) on Friday. This quake also shook the capital Tehran.
A senior Iranian Red Crescent official raised the toll from the quake to 35 dead with 250 people injured.
According to IRNA, the quake killed at least 20 people, injured 200 others and damaged scores of villages of 30 to 100 percent.
11 of the dead were occupants of over 60 cars which were buried under falling rocks on a mountain road that crosses the Alborz Mountain chain between Tehran and Chalus on the Caspian Sea coast, governor of Kerlardasht District, west of Mazandaran, Hossein Ali Golalizadeh said. He did not give an exact number of those killed but said "many"
people have been killed.
The 5.5-Richter scale quake also damaged 17 villages in Qazvin province, an official in Qazvin Red Crescent Ahmad Alikhani said, adding the quake killed three people and injured 20 others.
Large groups of rescue teams have been dispatched to the quake-stricken regions.
Meanwhile, the governor of the northwestern Qazvin province, Massoud Emami, was killed when the helicopter carrying him to affected areas in Friday`s earthquake went down Saturday evening. Emami was heading to the mountainous region of Alamout to have a close view of the destruction caused a day before in a deadly earthquake.
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)