Turkish agencies step up aid for quake-hit Iraqis

Turkish agencies are providing much-needed food and supplies to victims of a powerful earthquake that struck the Iraq-Iran border region earlier this month.

The Turkish Red Crescent, Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and non-governmental organizations have shipped 66 trucks of humanitarian aid to the region following the 7.3-magnitude quake on Nov. 12.

The Turkish Red Crescent and AFAD have dispatched trucks carrying 3,000 tents, 3,000 heaters, 14,000 blankets, 10,000 beds and a mobile kitchen for 5,000 people to the quake region.

A team affiliated with the Turkish Red Crescent also served hot meals to 5,000 people from the mobile kitchen.

"We provided relief to earthquake victims with a consignment from Erbil hours after the quake. Today we served hot meals from our mobile kitchen to 5,000 people in the Halabja Sports Complex. Our work in the region continues and our teams are always ready on the field. We will continue to help victims as long as it is needed,'' Goksen Yenigul, the Iraq representative for the Turkish Red Crescent, told Anadolu Agency on Friday.

''We (also) distributed 630 packages of food to families in the center of Halabja,'' Yenigul added.

The quake's epicenter was located around 32 kilometers (20 miles) southwest of the city of Halabja near the Iranian border and 103 kilometers (64 miles) southeast of Iraq's northern province of Sulaymaniyah.

Iran's state news agency IRNA reported Tuesday that the death toll from the quake had risen to at least 432 with more than 9,000 injured.

Iranian officials also announced that 536 villages were destroyed, 12,000 houses had collapsed and at least 70,000 people were homeless.

Source: Anadolu Agency