More than 400 people have been killed and 7,000 injured in an earthquake that struck along the border between Iran and Iraq on Sunday, Nov. 12. Officials are calling it the deadliest earthquake in the world in 2017. The BBC reported that teams are looking for survivors trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings. The death toll is expected to rise.
The earthquake struck late Sunday night, sending terrified residents fleeing their homes into the streets. The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter was 19 miles outside the Iraqi city of Halabja.
According to CNN.com, the border cities were most affected in the earthquake, which registered a 7.3 and was felt as far away as Turkey and Pakistan. The state-run network IRINN reported some 145 aftershocks. An estimated 100 of those who lost their lives are believed to be in the western Iran town of Sarpol-e-Zahab, a town 10 miles from the border, authorities say. The BBC reports that the main hospital in the town was severely damaged, leaving it helpless to treat wounded. In the nation’s semiautonomous Kurdish region, USA Today reports that Iraq’s Interior Ministry said the temblor killed at least seven people and injured 535. Some cities have no running water or electricity.
Authorities in Iran and Iraq have initiated rescue operations. According to Iran’s semi state-run Tasnim news agency, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard were reportedly traveling to the affected areas to help with rescue efforts. On Monday, Iran declared three days of mourning.
Fatalities of the quake have already exceeded September’s Mexico City earthquake, in which 369 people were killed.
- For the western Iran town of Sarpol-e-Zahab where more than 100 people have been killed.
- For grieving families and friends who have lost parents, children, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters in the quake. Pray that those who don’t know God would feel His comfort and presence and come to know Him as their Savior.
- For healing and medical care for the more than 7,000 people injured in the earthquake. Pray for strength and knowledge for medical workers and other first responders who are assisting with rescue efforts. Pray that more people would be rescued in the days ahead.
- For believers in these areas as they look for ways to show Christ to the families of victims and pray for the wounded.
- For organizations mobilizing to provide shelter, food and clean water to families who have lost their homes .
- For the quick restoration of running water and electricity in the cities across the Iran/Iraq mountainous border that were hit hardest.
- For the Iraqi and Iranian people in these border areas. Pray for them in the months ahead as they begin recovery and the difficult process of rebuilding homes and lives from the rubble.