180 Dead After Iran Earthquake

At least 1,350 more injured, says state TV
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2012 12:05 PM CDT
Updated Aug 11, 2012 2:25 PM CDT
Dozens Dead After Iran Earthquake
Victims of an earthquake sit over the bodies of their loved ones who were killed in the city of Varzaqan in northwestern Iran, on Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012.   (AP Photo / Mehr News Agency, Hamed Nazari)

Two strong earthquakes struck villages in northwest Iran today, killing at least 180 people and injuring some 1,350 more, according to state media. Measuring 6.3 and 6.4, the quakes claimed most of their victims about 30 miles northeast of the city of Tabriz, NBC News reports. One official said six villages were leveled and another 60 villages were 50% to 70% leveled.

People poured into the streets out of fear, and officials are urging them to stay outside overnight in case of aftershocks; more than 20 measuring 4.5 to 5.0 have already struck. The quakes have cut off phone communications to several villages, hampering rescue efforts, but more than 200 people have already been pulled from collapsed buildings in the villages Varzaghan and Ahar. One lawmaker says tents, bread, and water are badly needed. (More Iran stories.)

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