Iran rocked by two devastating earthquakes
Iran was hit by two earthquakes on Saturday evening. The death toll from the dual disaster is over 300, and approximately 3,000 people have been injured.
The first quake hit at 5 p.m. with a magnitude of 6.4, and the second hit eleven minutes later with a magnitude of 6.3. The U.S. Geological Survey reported nearly a dozen aftershocks in each case. An earthquake of magnitude 6.3 or higher is classified as “strong” on the Richter scale.
Two hundred and thirty villages in the affected region of northwest Iran have been destroyed, but Iran has not yet asked the international community for help. The U.S., Russia, Turkey, and Taiwan have all expressed their willingness to provide aid, according to the New York Times. Until Iran asks for help, relief organizations like the Red Cross will not collect donations for earthquake relief.
According to CNN, Deputy Interior Minister Hassan Qaddami said that Iran does not need further help. The Red Crescent Society of Iran has created emergency shelters and distributed blankets and food. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies reports that 92 teams are working in conjunction with three helicopters and over 100 relief vehicles.
Iran is no stranger to devastating earthquakes. The country sits on a major fault line between two tectonic plates. Tens of thousands of Iranians were killed in major earthquakes in 1990 and in 2003.