Iran-Iraq quake death toll reaches 445

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Iran-Iraq quake death toll reaches 445

The apartment complexes sit next to lush pastures in the nearly entirely Kurdish province of Kermanshah, nestled in the Zagros Mountains along the border with Iraq.

Aside from the 530 people killed in Iran, 7,817 were injured, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.

Iran's Red Crescent Society officials announced on Monday evening that the rescue operations in Kermanshah will be completed in a few hours.

An Iranian-born Kurdish weightlifter on Tuesday said he will auction his Olympic gold medal to raise money for victims of Sunday night's devastating quake that hit the border areas between the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and Iranian Kurdistan (Rojhelat).

The housing was built as part of the Mehr - "kindness" - project of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Many warned that the low-quality construction could be problematic.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani arrived in the morning in the stricken area in Kermanshah province and promised that the government would "use all its power to resolve the problems in the shortest time".

Rouhani, who was visiting the area Tuesday, said his administration plans to support reconstruction with both handouts and loans.

At least 339 people have been killed in the quake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale.

Along with officials, Iranian people have also mobilized in response to the natural disaster to help decrease the sufferings of their compatriots, with many donating blood and preparing aid packages.

Iran sits on a major fault line between the Arabian and Eurasian plates and has experienced a number of earthquakes in the past. The last severe quake that struck this country came in 2003 at a magnitude of 6.6.

I remember the quote: "Earthquakes don't kill people".

The worst damage appeared to be in the Kurdish town of Sarpol-e-Zahab in the western Iranian province of Kermanshah, which sits in the Zagros Mountains that divide the two countries.

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