Ankara: At least 530 people were killed in Iran’s deadliest earthquake in more than a decade, state news agency IRNA reported on Tuesday, adding that more than 8,000 others were injured.
Iran said on Tuesday that rescue operations had ended in the western province of Kermanshah that was hit on Sunday by the 7.3-magnitude quake.
Survivors, many left homeless by the 7.3 magnitude earthquake that struck villages and towns in a mountainous area bordering Iraq, battled overnight temperatures just above freezing and faced another bleak day on Tuesday in need of food and water.
President Hassan Rouhani arrived in the morning in the stricken area in Kermanshah province and promised that the government would "use all its power to resolve the problems in the shortest time".
At least 14 provinces in Iran were affected by the quake which destroyed two whole villages, damaged 30,000 houses and left thousands of people injured.
Thousands of people huddled in makeshift camps while many others chose to spend a second night in the open, despite low temperatures, because they feared more tremors after some 193 aftershocks, state television said.
A homeless young woman in Sarpol-e Zahab, one of the hardest-hit towns, told state TV that her family was exposed to the night cold because of lack of tents.
"We need help. We need everything. The authorities should speed up their help," she said.
Television showed rescue workers combing through the rubble of dozens of villages immediately after the quake. But Iranian officials said chances of finding any more survivors were remote.
"The rescue operations in Kermanshah province have ended," Pir-Hossein Kolivand, head of Iran`s Emergency Medical Services, said.
Iran`s top authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, offered his condolences on Monday and called on government agencies to do all they could to help.
Iranian army, the elite Revolutionary Guards and its affiliated Basij militia forces were dispatched to affected areas on Sunday night.