ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The United Nations is prepared to respond to the devastating earthquake that struck the border areas between the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and Iranian Kurdistan (Rojhelat), the organization’s top official said on Monday.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “is deeply saddened by the loss of life and damage” following the tremor on Sunday night, a statement issued by his spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric read.
Guterres also expressed his condolences to the families affected by the tragedy and to the governments of Iraq, Iran, and the Kurdistan Region.
“The United Nations stands ready to assist if required,” the statement added.
The powerful magnitude 7.3 earthquake has killed over 400 people and injured hundreds more. Only seven were reported dead in the Kurdistan Region.
Photos posted on social media showed severe damages to buildings and properties in different parts of Kurdistan, especially in the border areas with Iran such as Halabja, Darbandikhan, and surrounding cities.
Following the late evening quake, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) released a statement asking doctors on duty to be prepared to receive an influx of patients and treat victims of the earthquake across Kurdistan.
In Rojhelat, casualties were much higher due to their proximity to the epicenter, with over 400 people dead and more than 2,600 injured across the region, according to Iranian state media.
The earthquake was also felt in the Kurdish region of Turkey, in Kuwait, and other countries in the region.
Editing by Sam A.