Iran to probe state-built homes destroyed by deadly quake

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 12:13:30 AM. SARPOL-E-ZAHAB, Iran (AP) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani launched an investigation Tuesday into why government housing built by his hard-line predecessor collapsed while others withstood a powerful earthquake near the border with Iraq that killed more than 530 people.
SARPOL-E-ZAHAB, Iran (AP) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani launched an investigation Tuesday into why government housing built by his hard-line predecessor collapsed while others withstood a powerful earthquake near the border with Iraq that killed more than 530 people. In the Kurdish town of Sarpol-e-Zahab, which was reconstructed in the decades since the 1980s war with Iraq, the outer walls of apartment complexes tumbled away in the magnitude 7.3 earthquake Sunday night. The housing was built as a part of the "Mehr" or "kindness" project of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Some now-homeless survivors simply wept outside, while others angrily showed Associated Press journalists the destruction done by the quake. "Other buildings near our apartment are not damaged as much because they were built privately," said Ferdows Shahbazi, 42, who lived in one of the Mehr buildings. She sarcastically added: "This is 'kindness' as the name suggests very well!" Rescuers used backhoes and other heavy equipment to dig through toppled buildings in Sarpol-e-Zahab, home to more than half of the dead. The apartment complexes sit next to lush pastures in the almost entirely Kurdish province of Kermanshah, nestled in the Zagros Mountains along the border with Iraq. Both rescuers and residents stood on the remains of homes, looking through the rubble. Searchers used dogs to comb the debris - just as they have since Iran's 2003 earthquake in Bam that killed 26,000 people - although...Read more
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