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Earthquake Survivors Living In Tents Die In Freezing Weather

An Iranian child stands near the temporary tents for earthquake victims at the city of Sare Pole-Zahab in Kermanshah Province, Iran, 16 November 2017.
An Iranian child stands near the temporary tents for earthquake victims at the city of Sare Pole-Zahab in Kermanshah Province, Iran, 16 November 2017.

A member of parliament from Kermanshah province has confirmed that several survivors of the recent earthquake in his constituency have died of frost-bite.

While criticizing the poor condition survivors endure, city of Paveh’s MP, Shehab Naderi said, “Several of the survivors, deprived of heating, have died in freezing cold weather in the quake hit areas”.

Citing Naderi, Qanoon daily reported on Thursday, January 25, “Several of the survivors have died in freezing weather, so far. Financial help and containers [large metal cargo containers or connexes] are urgently needed to save the survivors from dying of frost-bite”.

Furthermore, daily Qanoon reported, “Two-year old Sarina, who lived with her parents under a tent, was so frostbitten that nobody could save her”.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, IRGC-run Tasnim news agency also reported Friday, January 26, “Mohammad, a four-month old baby is the second victim of frost-bite.

Mohammad’s father, Abdollah Saifouri told Tasnim, “I applied for getting a container to live in, but they [authorities] said there are others on the priority list”.

Four-month old Mohammad died of frost-bite and lung infection while living in a tent in Kuick village.

However, the Governor-general of Kermanshah, Houshang Bazvand had categorically denied two days earlier that any survivor had died in the freezing cold quake hit areas.

“I am hundred per cent sure that nobody has died of frost-bite in the quake hit areas”, Bazvand told a pro-reformist website, Etemad Online.

Yet, in another interview, Etemad Online cited Kermanshah’s MP, Qassem Jassemi on Friday, as reiterating that a number of the survivors had lost their lives in freezing cold weather.

Reportedly, many of the survivors are still living in tents while temperatures have plunged to below freezing.

The tents provided for the earthquake victims cannot protect them from cold, storms and rain.

Moreover, many of the containers distributed among the survivors have no heating system.

According to the Weather Channel, temperatures in quake hit areas could drop as low as minus -12C (10.4 fahrenheit) overnight with light winds and clear skies in Sarpol-e Zahab, which is surrounded by mountains.

Meanwhile, a significant number of the survivors have no access to restrooms, bathrooms and other hygienic facilities.

Kermanshah’s MP, Jassemi admitted on Friday that there are ladies among the survivors who have not taken a shower for the past two or three months.

The 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit Kermanshah province on November 12, forcing locals scrambling into the streets and rushing to recover neighbors trapped under the rubble.

More than 600 lost their lives in the quake while more than 70,000 were displaced.

Two days after the disaster, the Islamic republic’s President, Hassan Rouhani visited the worst-hit city of Sarpol-e Zahab and promised to build 30,000 houses for the survivors.

Rouhani said an estimated 11,000 homes in the rural and 4,500 in urban areas have been destroyed.