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Nonprofit Orgs Rush to Aid Earthquake Victims in Iraq, Iran

BAGHDAD/ANKARA – Following news of the catastrophic earthquake that hit Iraq-Iranian border villages, killing at least 332 people and injuring hundreds, several humanitarian appeals were launched to help those affected, sending humanitarian aid to affected areas.

“We are coordinating with Iranian and Iraqi Red Crescent groups,” Turkish Red Crescent Chairman Kerem Kinik said in a tweet cited by Reuters.

“We are also getting prepared to make deliveries from our northern Iraq Erbil depot,” he added.

A 7.3 magnitude earthquake jolted Iraq and Iran on Sunday, November 12. State television said more than 332 people were killed in Iran and at least 2,500 were injured.

Local officials said the death toll would likely rise as search and rescue teams reached remote areas of Iran.

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Residents of Turkey’s southeastern city of Diyarbakir also reported feeling a strong tremor, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties there.

Kinik told broadcaster NTV that Red Crescent teams in Erbil were preparing to go to the site of the earthquake.

He added that Turkey’s national disaster management agency, AFAD, and National Medical Rescue Teams (UMKE) were also preparing to head into Iraq.

AFAD’s chairman said the organization was waiting for a reply to its offer for help.

Kinik added that the Turkish Red Crescent was gathering 3,000 tents and heaters as well as 10,000 beds and blankets and moving them towards the Iraqi border.

Electricity was cut off in several Iranian and Iraqi cities, and fears of aftershocks sent thousands of people in both countries out onto the streets and parks in the cold weather.

The Iranian Seismological Center registered around 118 aftershocks and said more were expected.

The head of the Iranian Red Crescent said more than 70,000 people were in need of emergency shelter.