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Somber reports surfaced this morning stating that a massive earthquake struck northwestern Iran, leaving at least 250 people dead and more than 2,000 injured. The heart of the quake hit near Tabriz and Ahar, but most of the casualties are believed to be in outlying villages.

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The number of those affected is just a rough estimation at the time. 

BBC News Reports:

Six villages were destroyed, and thousands are spending the night in emergency shelters or in the open.

Another 60 villages sustained more than 50% damage, and the death toll is expected to rise.

Reports say phone lines to many villages have been cut off, making rescue efforts harder.

The US Geological Service measured the quakes at magnitude 6.4 and 6.3.

Dozens of rescue workers have been sent to the region, but relief efforts have been limited overnight. Phone communication in the city of Tabriz has also been disrupted, reports say.

An Iranian Red Crescent official estimated that 16,000 people have been given emergency shelter after they were forced to leave their homes.

Please keep those affected by this catastrophic natural disaster in your prayers as they recover and bear the aftershocks of the quakes.

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Rescue units are still working to remove those trapped under rubble as residents have been advised to sleep outside. 


Photo Credit: Associated Press



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