In the evening of 12 November, an earthquake, measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale, struck the border region of Iran and Iraq, approximately 32kms from the city of Halabja, Iraq. Some 1,840,000 people are thought to live within a 100km radius of the epicentre in both Iran and Iraq.
An OCHA-led inter-agency assessment team has been on the ground since 13 November assessing humanitarian needs in Darbandikhan, Sulaymaniyah and Halabja.
In Iraq, the north-eastern Sulaymaniyah governorate was most severely hit, and latest reports indicate 9 people have been killed and over 550 people have been injured. Most earthquake related injuries are reported in the Darbandikhan, Halabja, and Garmyan districts. Landslides in Darbandikhan have blocked a tunnel, and water and electricity networks require significant repair.
The main hospital in Darbandikhan is extensively damaged, but several other medical facilities in the area are only partially damaged and continue to treat cases. Humanitarian health partners are supporting these facilities with supplies and tents to expand capacity.
The Turkish Red Crescent deployed a team from Erbil immediately after the earthquake to assess damage and provide shelter assistance.
In support of national efforts, humanitarian partners have mobilised ambulances, an immediate response team, medical teams, and sent trauma and surgical kits to the affected areas. Additional teams are on the ground assessing damage and shelter needs. Initial shelter assistance has been provided in Darbandikhan town and additional tents are being sent to the area.
The United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination team, highly specialized in natural disaster management, will arrive tomorrow in support of the response efforts of the authorities.