TEHRAN – Russian President Vladimir Putin offered condolences to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani over heavy casualties and destruction caused by a strong earthquake in the west of the country.
“Please accept sincere sympathy and support for the relatives and friends of those who perished and wishes of early convalescence to all survivors of this calamity,” Putin said in a message published on the Kremlin’s website, the Tass news agency reported.
Addressing President Rouhani, he expressed “deep condolences over the heavy loss of human life and destruction in the west of Iran.”
Putin also expressed condolences to his Iraqi counterpart Foad Masum.
“Dear Mr. President. Please, accept the most sincere condolences over the tragic effects of the earthquake in Sulaymaniyah Province. We share the grief of those who lost their relatives and dear ones as a result of this disaster and we hope for the early recovery of all those who survived”.
At least 348 people have been killed and 6,000 injured in the earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale.
Iranians, fighting time, hurried early Monday to dig out survivors trapped in dozens of collapsed buildings in the quake, whose epicenter was near Halabjah, southeast of Iraq’s Sulaymaniyah.
Hospitals in the western cities of Eslamabad-e-Gharb, Sarpol-e-Zahab, and Qasre-e-Shirin are packed with the injured people as the death toll is expected to rise.