Iran quake: Death toll soars to more than 450

Armenian PM extends condolences to First Vice-President of Iran on devastating earthquake

Strong Quake Jolts Western Iran

According to official tallies, at least 420 Iranians died and over 7,370 others were injured after the quake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale, whose epicenter was near Halabjah, southeast of Iraq's Sulaymaniyah, left massive damages in the Iranian border province.

As many as 3,950 people have been injured, Iran's Tasnim news agency said. Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan sent a letter of condolences to First Vice-President of Iran Es'haq Jahangiri on the devastating natural disaster that claimed hundreds of lives in the province of Kermanshah, press service of the government told Armenpress.

The headline of a state newspaper read "Iran cries with Kermanshah", referring to the Kurdish-majority province.

Thousands of homes were destroyed in the quake, which rocked a region spanning Iran's western province of Kermanshah and neighbouring Iraqi Kurdistan. "We have no tents, no blankets", said one young resident of Sar-e Pol-e Zahab, the city most affected by the disaster.

Rouhani Tuesday visited the town of Sar-e Pol-e Zahab, worst hit by the quake.

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"Newly constructed buildings. held up well, but the old houses built with earth were totally destroyed", he told state TV while visiting the affected region.

"We are living in a tent and we don't have enough food or water", he said.

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

In a statement, the Iranian government expressed sympathy with the bereaved families of the victims and declared Tuesday as a day of mourning across the country. Iranian Army helicopters were taking part in the relief effort.

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