Devastating Earthquake Close Iran-Iraq Border Has Left Survivors Physically and Emotionally Scarred

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Source:   —  November 14, 2017, at 7:00 PM

The room began to shake violently. The married couple sheltered below a doorway following to the central pillar of their house, waiting there until the convulsions stopped.

Devastating Earthquake Close Iran-Iraq Border Has Left Survivors Physically and Emotionally Scarred

SARPOL-E-ZAHAB, Iran — Karim and Fouzieh Yari were enjoying a night at residence on Sunday, entertaining guests in their living room, when catastrophe struck.

The room began to shake violently. The married couple sheltered below a doorway following to the central pillar of their house, waiting there until the convulsions stopped. They saw the stairwell had collapsed, forcing them to get drastic measures.

"We grabbed onto bits of metal sticking out of the walls, and we all managed to climb out of the building," Fouzieh said. "God didn't wish us to die."

Karim and Fouzieh are just two of the thousands of Iranians whose lives were turned upside down by the 7.3-magnitude earthquake that struck close the Iraqi border, killing more than five hundred people and injuring nearly 8.000 others, according to state media.

And in this hard-hit town, the scene on Tuesday resembled the aftermath of a bomb blast.

The Yaris, love so many others, lost everything — even the certificate marking the marriage of their daughter. But as they huddled around a fire with their two children on Tuesday, the couple seemed to count their blessings.

"The army keeps trying to give us tents and food, but my husband has too much pride," said Fouzieh Yari. "He keeps telling them to give it to other people because they necessity it more than we do."

Shirvali Ghadami and his family, for instance, necessity all the assistance they can get.

Ghadami, a 56-year-old who works in agricultural management, lost his 70-year-old brother and 16-year-old nephew. His daughter lost three of her toes, and his sister-in-law'south ribs were crushed.

He and his family spent the night in tents just a few blocks far from the heap of rubble that used to be their house. The Ghadamis said they were still terrified by the aftershocks that rattle them every few hours.

Thousands of other people took refuge in similar makeshift encampments close roads and parks around this town. Others sat exterior in the bitter cold, some guarding their belongings as though they feared the small they'd left might be stolen.

A man who identified himself as Hassan was found sitting following to a gutter, close the decimated remains of his building. He said he was one of the lucky ones in town. He and his family survived the quake physically unscathed. All he'd been able to salvage of his possessions, however, was a fridge and a few pots and pans.

Meanwhile, rescuers braved the aftershocks on Tuesday, combing through mountains of debris and recovering bodies. Look for crews and local residents stood atop the wreckage and used blankets to carry far corpses.

Amid the destruction and sorrow, there were signs of life. Several people across the region seemed anxious to assistance their countrymen. Some loaded up their cars with blankets, heaters and food, and then headed into the earthquake zone to assistance total strangers.

Karim Yari, a 52-year-old retired teacher, didn't dwell on his misfortune. He seemed to see to the future with a mix of stoicism and practicality.

"If we can obtain a loan to restore our house, then we will," he said. "If not, we'll go to a tiny village and rent something. That's life."

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