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News note

UNICEF emergency team goes to scene of Iran earthquake

TEHRAN, 22 February 2005 - An emergency team from UNICEF has arrived in the town of Zarand, south west Iran to make a preliminary assessment and to discuss with the Iranian authorities the need for international assistance after an earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale hit the region early this morning.

The team, comprising of an Emergency Coordinator, a Child Protection Officer, a Water and Sanitation officer and a Health officer made their way there from Bam, the scene of 2003’s earthquake which killed more than 30,000 people.

According to reports, more than 30,000 people are affected – with the latest death poll being around 270 and the number of injured put at 500. At least 3 villages have been more than 90% destroyed.

Kari Egge, UNICEF’s representative in Iran, who was travelling in the area at the time, went immediately to the site. She said she saw a whole village completely wiped out.

“Our priority at this stage is to find out what the needs are on the ground, particularly regarding women and children. Here in the village of Dohan all the houses have been completely destroyed. It is cold and rainy so supplies such as shelter, food, water and blankets are essential.”

UNICEF is working very closely with the Iranian Red Crescent Society and the Iranian authorities to assess the emergency response. The Red Crescent has already sent supplies of tents, blankets and food and temporary accommodation is being provided for those in need in the town of Zarand. The Iranian authorities have made no official request for assistance from international organizations.

For further information please contact:
Kari Egge, UNICEF Representative in Iran: +98 9123 012178
Miranda Eeles, UNICEF Communication Officer, Tehran: +98 9123 462034
Steven Lauwerier, UNICEF Emergency Coordinator: +98 9122 084362




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