An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 struck northwest Iran on Saturday, killing at least three people and injuring more than 1,000.
An emergency official told state TV that it was snowing in some of the affected areas, with freezing temperatures and some power cuts reported. The freezing weather continues to this day and the people of the region have been left stranded with no government aid.
According to the Nasr News website, which covers the news of East and West Azerbaijan provinces, “Following the 5.9-magnitude earthquake, the people of Khoy spent the night in the streets at minus seven degrees (Celsius) and complain about authorities ignoring their situation.”
The government-linked ISNA news agency reported that people had gathered at the local Red Crescent warehouse to receive supplies. Security forces used water cannons to disperse them.
“The depth of the crisis and damages in the earthquake-affected areas of Khoy is high,” said Ruhollah Hazrat Poor, MP from West Azerbaijan Province.
In a video that has been shared widely on social media, a local from the disaster-struck city says, “Where should we go? What should we eat? Who can we talk to? Little children, mothers, everyone are all left in the cold, help us…”
More than 40 aftershocks have been reported after the 5.9-magnitude earthquake in Khoy.
Ali Beitollahi, a member of the academic staff of the Road, Housing and Urban Development Research Center, said that up to 123 villages were damaged by the earthquake. In three cities, nearly 5,000 residential units were damaged.
Some villages have suffered 20 to 50 percent destruction. Electricity has been cut in more than 30 villages. Many earthquake victims have no shelter in the snow and extreme cold. The regime’s entities and Red Crescent did not help the people.
“In total, about 262,000 people, including nearly 78,000 families, were affected by the earthquake,” said the regime’s deputy of the Red Crescent. “On Saturday night after the earthquake, the people, afraid of the subsequent earthquakes, spent the night in the streets despite the unbearable cold.”
After four days, the people of Khoy are still suffering from the damages caused by the earthquake. And the regime is doing nothing to help them. Videos and photos posted online show lines of people out in the cold, seeking food and shelter.
Meanwhile, the regime is turning down offers of aid from neighboring. According to the head of Turkey’s Red Crescent, “After the earthquake, we declared our preparedness to help [Iran]. They said that can handle the situation.”