The rescue effort in full swing after twin earthquakes in Iran - which struck 11 minutes apart - devastated Tabriz and Ahar in East Azerbaijan province in an area where some 300,000 people live near the borders with Azerbaijan and Armenia. The quakes measured 6.4 and 6.3 on the Richter scale and were then followed by dozens of aftershocks shortly afterwards.
The death toll’s risen to 306, with 3,000 more injured. And though these pictures show people’s desperate efforts to find and rescue those may have been lucky to survive, Iran’s Health Minister has decided to halt this work: they’ve rescued everyone they can who’s been trapped under rubble. People have lost everything, family, friends, livelihoods: the shock too great for anyone to even begin to come to terms with.
The humanitarian effort now takes precedence as makeshift camps struggle to deal with the hundreds of displaced people that this natural disaster has left behind.
This man tells the reporter how he felt the ground shaken by one of the 4.8 Magnitude aftershocks at three in the morning. But it was his young daughter described it was great clarity, saying ‘It was like a waterfall. It was going this way and that way" The reporter asked her ‘It was shaking? Did you get really scared?’
According to the Red Crescent, around 16,000 people in the quake-hit area have been given emergency shelter so far.
Written and Presented by Marverine Cole