Friday, February 25, 2005

Search for Iran quake survivors ends
Rescuers in south-eastern Iran have given up their search for survivors and victims of a devastating earthquake that left nearly 550 people dead.

The quake, the worst since the disaster in the ancient city of Bam in December 2003, left thousands of people homeless in sub-zero temperatures and heavy rain and snow.

"Operations to recover bodies and evacuate the wounded has ended," the Governor of Kerman province, Mohammad Ali Karimi, said.

A spokesman for the Governor, Ali Komsari, says that 549 people are known to have died but that figure could rise.

He did not give an updated figure on those injured, but Mr Karimi had earlier put it at 900.

The 6.4 magnitude quake struck before dawn on Tuesday, levelling mud-brick houses in dozens of villages and affecting an estimated 30,000 people in the Zarand region north of the provincial capital of Kerman. ...