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Sunday, March 26, 2017
CAFOD sends aid to earthquake victims in Iran
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¬†The Catholic aid agency CAFOD has given £100,000 to Islamic Relief Worldwide to help the victims of the earthquake in the Iranian city of Bam. An earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale hit Bam, about 1,000 km south-east of Tehran, on 26 December. Bam had a population of 90,000 people, with the wider region home to some 200,000 residents. The earthquake is currently thought to have killed over 20,000 people in the affected area. As the two main hospitals collapsed - killing or wounding most of the staff and patients, the only hospitals still functioning in Bam have been overwhelmed by the numbers of injured and many people are being treated in the rubble-strewn streets or taken to other towns for treatment. Thousands of people are still homeless in the streets in a bitter cold with temperatures below zero degrees Celsius. Water, electricity and gas supplies have been cut, as have telephone and radio communications with the city. The Government has asked for international assistance. CAFOD's Emergency Officer Tim Aldred said: "The current priorities are to provide the survivors with temporary shelter and medical assistance and to meet the most immediate basic needs. These include medical supplies, water purification equipment, electricity generators, tents and blankets." Islamic Relief is working on getting relief stock from neighbouring Iraq to the affected area in Iran. The supplies include tents, cooking equipment, blankets, and some food. Tim Aldred said: "The money given by CAFOD will be a significant contribution to the relief efforts in Bam. Once the immediate needs have been made, a much larger task of rebuilding will have to begin."
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