Iran Hospitals Overwhelmed After Brutal Quakes

Death toll approaches 300
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2012 5:59 AM CDT
Iran Hospitals Overwhelmed After Brutal Quakes
A victim of Saturday's earthquake sits on the ruins of buildings at the village of Bajebaj near the city of Varzaqan in northwestern Iran, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012.   (AP Photo/ISNA, Ruhollah Vahdati)

With thousands injured as the death toll from Iran's dual earthquakes nears 300, hospitals are reeling from the increased traffic. There are long lines outside as doctors work feverishly to cope with the injuries. "From last night until this afternoon when I left Shohada-ye Tabriz hospital, doctors were constantly performing operations," said one physician. "Ordinary people were working alongside rescuers. They were bringing food and water to the hospital." Meanwhile, thousands of refugees are staying in camps and parks as they weather the some 60 aftershocks that have hit thus far, Reuters reports.

Some 20 villages were completely destroyed, and 130 saw more than 70% damage, according to the Red Crescent. Officials say search and rescue operations are over; now they're "working to provide shelter and food to the survivors." But stories conflict as to how effective efforts have been. The Red Crescent says it has enough supplies, and an emergency official says 36,000 people have received emergency shelter. But "despite the promises of officials, little first aid has been distributed in the region and most people are left without tents," said an MP. (More Iran stories.)

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