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Press centre

News note

UNICEF sends emergency supplies to Zarand quake

TEHRAN, 23 February 2005 - UNICEF has dispatched some emergency latrine slabs and plastic sheeting for immediate use in the earthquake stricken villages surrounding the town of Zarand, south west Iran.

“A truck containing 400 latrines and 273 plastic sheets set off from the town of Bam this afternoon and will arrive in Zarand this evening, said Kari Egge, UNICEF representative in Iran, who is in Bam overseeing the effort on the ground.

“A second truck containing a further 200 latrines and 12 large tents will leave for the area tomorrow. The tents will be used for psycho social counseling for children and survivors in the area.”

UNICEF was immediately responding to a request from the Ministry of Health to help in the emergency response.

Steven Lauwerier, UNICEF Emergency Coordinator spent a second day in 2 of the villages affected. He said the rescue effort is still continuing, particularly in those villages cut off yesterday by landslides.

“Some survivors spent a terrible night sleeping outside in freezing temperatures with no shelter. Now the road is cleared and rescue teams have been working throughout the day, said Lauwerier. “Supplies in the form of tents, heaters, food and blankets have been brought in by the Red Crescent and the Iranian authorities. UNICEF’s emergency supplies of latrines and plastic sheets will arrive later today.”

UNICEF and the Ministry of Health have been working very closely in the training of psychologists and psychiatrists after the Bam earthquake in 2003. The idea is to transfer some of those who have received training in trauma counselling to help in the recent earthquake near Zarand.

According to the latest figures, around 500 people have died with around 900 injured. The rescue operation continued today with the Iranian authorities reaching villages previously cut off by landslides.

Social workers from Iran’s State Welfare Organisation visited 16 villages in and around the disaster area.
They reported that in those villages, there were 20 separated children and around 30 confirmed child deaths. These figures could rise over the coming days.

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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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