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Iran earthquake: 306 dead, over 3,000 injured -- officials

Deadly quakes in Iran on Saturday killed more than 300 people and wounded thousands.

Iranian health officials today raised the death toll for Saturday's deadly earthquakes to at least 306 people killed and over 3,000 injured as the search for bodies continues in the country's north-west, reported Gulf News

The news comes as United Nations head Ban Ki-moon today offered humanitarian aid in a statement of sympathy for the people of Iran, reported the Voice of America

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The earthquakes, measuring 6.3 and 6.4 on the Richter scale, struck near northwestern cities Tabriz and Ahar on Saturday afternoon. More than 55 aftershocks were reported through the following hours.

Australia's ABC cited the director of Iran's Red Crescent, Abdolhossein Faghih, as saying the quakes damaged a total of 230 villages.  

Thousands of people spent the night in emergency shelters, and hospitals in the area are struggling to cope with the thousands of victims, Reuters reported.

Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi today said some 50 people had died in the hospital overnight, according to Gulf News

The Iranian government is giving quake-hit families $1,000 per household to help them rebuild their homes before winter comes, said ABC

The Turkish Red Crescent on Saturday said it was sending a truck full of emergency supplies to the border. 

Iran is located on seismic fault lines and is prone to earthquakes. In 2003, an earthquake in the city of Bam left 25,000 people dead.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iran/120813/iran-earthquake-306-dead-over-3000-injured-officials