After the deadliest earthquake of 2017 hit the Iran-Iraq border and left over 530 dead, the country mourns.
However, from the grief and dust, a baby who was among the rubble for three day has been found alive and smiling by rescue workers, local media reports.
The child was found amid the rubble in the town of Sarpol-e-Zahab on Wednesday morning – two and a half days after the 7.3 magnitude quake hit on Sunday, killing at least 530 people.
The baby was found smiling days after a strong quake devastated several cities and villages of Iran’s Kermanshah province on Sunday night, leaving over 9,000 wounded, according to IFP News.
More than 400 aftershocks have struck since, leaving even those with homes afraid to return and retrieve their belongings in safety.
The moment the earthquake hit was captured live on television, during a news broadcast:
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Since, a huge aid effort has been initiated. Emergency services continued to search for survivors four days after the quake, but fewer people are being pulled alive from the wreckage of apartment buildings.
In the Kurdish majority town of Sarpol-e-Zahab, which was the worst affected city, and also where the baby was found, field hospitals are treating the injured.
Tents have been set up for the 70,000 people left homeless in winter weather but aid agencies say there’s still a dire need for shelter, blankets, children’s clothes, medicine and large cans to store drinking water.
At least 12,000 houses have been completely destroyed after the earthquake, for which the government has vowed to give grants and loans to help people reconstruct their homes.
In an effort to raise funds for the victims and awareness in the media, one Iranian weightlifter who won gold at the Rio 2016 Olympics, has put his medal up for auction.
Kianoush Rostami, who grew up in the Kermanshah province near Sarpol-e-Zahab, said he was was ‘taking a step, however small’ to help those in need after the earthquake.
I am returning my Rio 2016 Olympics gold medal – which actually belongs to them – to my people…
I will put my medal up for auction. All the proceedings will go to those hit by the earthquake.
کیانوش رستمی مدال طلای المپیک خود را جهت کمک به زلزله زدگان غرب کشور به حراج می گذارد کیانوش رستمی قهرمان وزنه برداری المپیک و جهان جهت کمک به زلزله زدگان غرب کشور، مدال طلای بازیهای المپیک ریو 2016 خود را به حراج می گذارد. پهلوان کرمانشاهی کشورمان در متن پیام خود در این باره گفت: کرمانشانَگم، اي شار شيرين نفس کم ديرم، اَراي زار و شين همدياريم، ها ژِير آوار کم بتکن خاک، وَه اي کُردَوار بار دیگر دل زمین لرزید تا دل میلیوها ایرانی در غم از دست دادن عزیزانشان بلرزد،دلیرمردان و شیر زنانی که همواره در دل تاریخ بعنوان پاره ای از تن ایران بزرگ در خط مقدم دفاع از کشورشان بودند و هستند و امروز این دریادلان اینگونه در ساحل مصیبت زده طوفان بلا،دست به آسمان ساییده اند و چشم انتظار یاری مردم عزیز خود هستند. اینجانب کیانوش رستمی فرزند کوچک این ملت بزرگ که هنوز در این چند روز خواب به چشمانم نیامده بر خود وظیفه دانستم قدمی هر چند کوچک برای هموطنان زلزله زده کشورم پرداخته و مدال طلای بازیهای المپیک 2016 ریو را که در واقع متعلق به همین مردم است به آنها باز گردانده و برای کمک به مردم زلزله زده غرب کشور به حراج بگذارم و عواید حاصل از آن را به زلزله زدگان غرب کشور اختصاص دهم. علاقه مندان که می خواهند در این امر خیر شرکت کنند می توانند پیشنهاد و درخواستهای خود را به شماره تلفن های زیر 26203390-26203418 و همراه 09192787890 و یا آدرس ایمیل [email protected] در میان بگذارند.
Across the border in Iraq, the earthquake killed at least nine people and injured 550 residents of the northern, semi-autonomous Kurdish region, according to its Interior Ministry.
Tremors were recorded by the US Geological Survey (USGS) as far west as the Israeli coast of the Mediterranean and as far south as Baghdad.
This tragedy comes after an earthquake left 248 dead in Mexico on September 20 earlier this year, after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck.
The city descended into a state of grief and chaos, as the epicentre of the 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck 2.8 miles east-north-east of San Juan Raboso and 34.1 miles south-southwest of the city of Puebla, in Puebla state, according to the USGS.
At the same time, in unconnected incidents, New Zealand was hit by two massive earthquakes.
Tremors could be felt across the Kiwi islands as New Zealand was rocked first by a 6.1 magnitude earthquake which struck south-west of Invercargill, followed by a 5.1 magnitude earthquake which hit north-east of Seddon.
Our thoughts are with all affected by this natural disaster in Iran and Iraq.
You can donate to Relief International to help the victims on the ground.