Rescuers comb flattened villages after Iran quakes

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Rescuers comb flattened villages after Iran quakes

Rescuers comb flattened villages after Iran quakes
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The extent of the damage from two powerful earthquakes to strike northwest Iran is becoming more clear.

Rescuers worked through the night, combing the rubble in dozens of largely destroyed villages.

The quakes measuring 6.4 and 6.3 struck within minutes of each other to the northeast of Tabriz. The number of dead looks set to run into the hundreds; well over 1,000 people were injured.

The city itself, home to 1.5 million people, reportedly suffered only material damage. The deaths are said to have largely occurred in rural areas.

Dozens of ambulances and emergency teams have been deployed and dogs are being used to try to locate people.

Hundreds have been rescued from collapsed buildings.

Thousands of people fled their homes in panic, staying overnight in makeshift camps, on the streets or in parks.

One hospital, staffed by just two doctors and short of medical supplies and food, was said to be struggling with about 500 injured people.

In the town of Ahar, medical staff treated people in the open air.

Neighbouring Turkey told Iran it was ready to help. The Turkish Red Crescent said it was sending a truck filled with emergency supplies to the border.