Iran-Iraq Earthquake Kills More Than 450

The Iranian Red Crescent used rescue dogs to search for survivors, as it has since an earthquake in the southern city of Bam in 2003 that killed more than 20,000 people. The country’s religious leaders regard dogs as unclean, but the use of guard and rescue dogs is accepted.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was president of Iran from 2005 to 2013, introduced a program to build low-income housing, including in Pol-e Zahab. After the quake on Sunday, his political opponents said that many of the buildings had been poorly constructed, but his defenders said that the buildings were on fault lines, and that nothing could have been done.

Initial reports from the Kurdish region of Iraq indicated less damage and fewer deaths on that side of the border. In Sulaimaniya, the second-largest city in Iraq’s Kurdish region, residents described feeling heavy tremors but said there was no notable building damage. Residents in the oil-rich town of Kirkuk, roughly 50 miles to the west, reported similar damage.

Ali Namiq, a resident of the town Darbandikhan, Iraq, said a building was flattened by the quake. “The building fell on a seven-member family,” he told Reuters. “We managed to rescue only five out of them, while the two others were killed. It was the first time for

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