In Iran there are fears that the death toll from the earth-quake that struck the area around Tabas in Kharassan Province on Saturday (16 September) may rise far above the eleven thousand so far known to have been killed.
AERIAL VIEWS showing earth-quake damage (2 shots)
SV people walking through destroyed are ( 2 shots)
SV homeless people sitting by roadside (2 shots)
SV AND CU Empress Farah of Iran talking to officials (3 shots)
GV TRAVEL SHOT tents and Homeless by roadside
GV TRAVEL SHOT men digging graves (2 shots)
SV men carrying body PAN TO damaged building
SV men digging in rubble as bereaved women is led away
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In Iran there are fears that the death toll from the earth-quake that struck the area around Tabas in Kharassan Province on Saturday (16 September) may rise far above the eleven thousand so far known to have been killed.
SYNOPSIS: The town of Tabas, which is in the north east of the country, was totally destroyed, as were many surrounding villages. Nine out of ten buildings in the area were destroyed. It was the world's strongest earthquake this year - its effects were felt nearly five hundred miles (eight hundred kilometres) away.
All the town's doctors were reported to have been killed in the disaster and rescue services are being hindered because of the destruction of water, power and telephone connections.
North eastern Iran has been hit many times by earthquakes - the worst of them ten years ago. Then twenty-thousand died. Tabas was destroyed then as it has been again. One Monday (18 September) the area was visited by Empress Farah, who called the earthquake a heart-rending tragedy. She was flown first to Tabas and then to nearby Ferdous, the centre of relief work for the stricken villagers. The Shah of Iran has declared a period of official mourning.
Relief work is also being hampered by the difficulties of access to the mountainous area, which is near the Soviet and Afghan frontiers. In Tabas, only six hundred and fifty bodies had been recovered from the rubble. It's understood that only two thousand of the town's thirteen thousand inhabitants survived. Throughout the area, forty villages were reported to have been destroyed. Sixty others suffered serious damage. Aid from overseas relief agencies has been promised.