Thousands of homeless Iranians huddled against the cold late on Monday, a day after more than 450 people were killed in Iran’s deadliest earthquake in more than a decade.
Rescue teams kept up search operations for dozens trapped beneath the rubble of collapsed houses in towns and villages in the mountainous area of the western province of Kermanshah that borders Iraq.
Iran’s English-language Press TV said more 7,000 were injured when the magnitude 7.3 earthquake jolted the country on Sunday. Local officials expected the death toll to climb as search and rescue teams reached remote areas of Iran.
The quake was felt in several provinces of Iran but the hardest hit province was Kermanshah. More than 300 of the victims were in Sarpol-e Zahab county in that province, about 15km from the Iraq border.
Iran sits astride major fault lines and is prone to frequent tremors. A magnitude 6.6 quake on December 26, 2003, devastated the historic city of Bam, 1,000km southeast of Tehran, killing about 31,000 people.