By Luke C.
On Sunday, November 12, at 9:48 a.m., a very powerful earthquake shook the Middle Eastern nations of Iran and Iraq, killing more than 530 people and injuring thousands more. The quake was the deadliest of this year, even eclipsing September’s Central Mexico Earthquake.
The epicenter, or the area just above the originating position of the earthquake, lies between the Arabian and Eurasian tectonic plates, and is prone to powerful earthquakes, the last powerful earthquake being in 2003.
The earthquake hit in a rural area near the Iran-Iraq border, but affected many people in the Iranian city of Pol-e Zahab in the Western Iranian province of Kermanshah. In this city alone, more than 230 people had died.
The earthquake was a magnitude 7.3 on the Richter scale, which meant that it was the most powerful earthquake this year, the second being the Central Mexico Earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.1. It was also the deadliest, with at least 530 people dead.
The tremor was so strong, it was felt as far as Kuwait , Qatar, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel and the United Arab Emirates. It had not killed or destroyed anyone or anything, but they were still strong, nonetheless.
Many people had lost their homes and possessions in the earthquake, including Khosrow, a local resident according to BBC news. He had lost everything, including members of his family.
“Walls have fallen on my sisters and father. I had to drag them out of the house. My mother is injured. My aunt, cousin and my cousin’s children died,” said Khosrow to BBC news.
Thousands have been displaced and are living in the streets and in tents with food provided mainly by aid groups like Iran’s Red Crescent. But some have not received enough aid due to the limited supplies of these aid groups, like Ali Gulani, according to BBC.
“We are living in a tent and we don’t have enough food or water. You can hear children crying; it’s too cold. They are holding on to their parents to warm themselves – it’s pretty bad,” Gulani said to BBC.
Rescue operations were already underway a few hours after the initial quake and are still continuing. These operations have rescued many but there still are thousands more trapped under the rubble.
So always be prepared for a natural disaster if you live near an area that is naturally prone to one, like an earthquake in California or a tornado in Kansas.