Iran lowers quake death toll to 230
TEHRAN: Condolences and offers of help flooded in Sunday as Iran cleared up the damage caused by the earthquake in the northwest of the country, but said the death toll was not as heavy as first feared.
The interior ministry sharply revised down the toll from Saturday’s quake to 230, against an earlier official toll of 500, in a statement quoted by state television.
“The earthquake caused 227 deaths in the Qazvin region and three in Hamedan, and around 1,000 injured in total,” state television quoted a ministry statement as saying. However the official news agency IRNA, quoting local officials, said later that five people had been killed in Zanjan province northwest of Qazvin, where heavy damage had been caused to 126 villages around Khodabandeh.
Condolences and aid: Secretary General Kofi Annan offered condolences to Iran for the loss of life and widespread damage wrought by the earthquake. “The Secretary General is deeply saddened by the important loss of lives and the extensive damage that resulted from the disaster. He wishes to convey his condolences and deepest sympathy to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and to the victims of the disaster,” a statement from the international body read. —AFP/Reuters