INTRODUCTION: The death toll from an earthquake which hit the south eastern Iranian town of Golbaf on Thursday (11 June) was put on Saturday night (13 June) at 937, with 270 more unaccounted for.
SV PULL BACK TO GV Devastated houses, earthmoving equipment working
SV PULL BACK TO GV Earthmoving work
CU Crying man
SV Soldiers and civilians digging (3 shots)
SVs Man screaming at ruins
GV PAN Tent village for survivors
SV & GV Weeping women
GV Relief distribution
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The death toll from an earthquake which hit the south eastern Iranian town of Golbaf on Thursday (11 June) was put on Saturday night (13 June) at 937, with 270 more unaccounted for.
SYNOPSIS: The earthquake registered six-point-eight on the Richter scale, making it Iran's worst disaster since 15,000 people died in an earthquake in the eastern town of Tabas in September 1978.
As earthmoving equipment moved in to clear the rubble, survivors searched with their bare hands to find people still buried. Earlier reports from Iran's official PARS newsagency put the number of dead at 3,000, but these reports were discounted by correspondents at the scene.
Rescue workers found five people, still alive, buried in rubble on Saturday morning (13 June). One of them was a three-year old boy. Most of the dead were working at making rugs, when the earthquake struck. The town of Golbaf was built almost entirely of mud, and housed about 10,000 people. More tremors in the area were reported on Friday (12 June) as more than 1,000 injured were taken by truck and helicopter to Kerman, 80 kilometres (50 miles) away.
Golbaf is in Kerman Province, a sparesely-populated area on an earthquake belt. Five hundred and twenty-one people died there in a quake in December 1977.
Officials in Kerman said there was no shortage of tents for the earthquake survivors, though hospital beds were still lacking. The disaster comes at a time when Iranian Prime Minister Ali Pajai, who visited Golbaf, has complained of difficulties in working with the Red Crescent, equivalent to the Red Cross.
The Prime Minister called the earthquake a sad disaster, while the Ayatollah Khomeini said it was a divine ordeal. The government has called for doctors, surgeons and nurses to go to the area.