Over 8,000 people were injured even as many survivors huddled in makeshift camps or spent a second night in the open for fear of more tremors to come after some 193 aftershocks, Iran's state TV says.

Iran's Red Crescent said emergency shelter had been provided for thousands but a lack of water and electricity as well as blocked roads hindered aid supply efforts, Sarpol e Zahab county in Kermanshah, Iran on November 13, 2017.
Iran's Red Crescent said emergency shelter had been provided for thousands but a lack of water and electricity as well as blocked roads hindered aid supply efforts, Sarpol e Zahab county in Kermanshah, Iran on November 13, 2017. ( Reuters )

Rescue operations have ended in areas of Iran hit by a powerful weekend earthquake that killed at least 530 people and injured over 8000 others, state television reported on Tuesday. 

Sunday's magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck villages and towns in the mountainous area of Kermanshah province that borders Iraq while many people were at home asleep. Many survivors, in need of food and water, are still battling the cold.

At least 14 provinces in Iran were affected, and the earthquake also killed more than a dozen people and injured hundreds of others in neighbouring Iraq.

Iran's government "will use all its power to resolve the problems in the shortest time," President Hassan Rouhani said on a visit to Kermanshah on Tuesday.

State television said thousands were huddling in makeshift camps while many others spent a second night in the open for fear of more tremors after some 193 aftershocks.

TRT World's Kerry Alexandria reports

Bitter cold

A homeless young woman in Sarpol e Zahab, one of the hardest-hit towns in Iran, told state TV that her family was exposed to the night cold because of a lack of tents.

"We need help. We need everything. The authorities should speed up their help," she said.

Television showed footage of rescue workers frantically combing through the rubble of dozens of villages immediately after the quake. But Iranian officials said the chances of finding any more survivors were extremely low.

"The rescue operations in Kermanshah province have ended," Pir Hossein Kolivand, head of Iran's Emergency Medical Services, said on state TV.

Iranian police, the elite Revolutionary Guards and its affiliated Basij militia forces were dispatched to affected areas on Sunday night.

Rescue workers search for victims under the rubble of a collapsed building following an earthquake in Sarpol e Zahab county in Kermanshah, Iran, November 13, 2017.
Rescue workers search for victims under the rubble of a collapsed building following an earthquake in Sarpol e Zahab county in Kermanshah, Iran, November 13, 2017. ( Reuters )

Harsh conditions

Hospitals in nearby provinces took in many of the injured, state television said, airing footage of survivors waiting to be treated. Hundreds of critically injured people were dispatched to hospitals in Tehran.

Iran's Red Crescent said emergency shelter had been provided for thousands of homeless people, but a lack of water and electricity as well as blocked roads in some areas hindered aid supply efforts.

Local authorities said traffic chaos on roads, caused by people from nearby provinces who were rushing to help, further hampered the flow of aid.

"People in some villages are still in dire need of food, water and shelter," governor of Qasr e Shirin Faramarz Akbari told state television.

More than 30,000 houses in the area were damaged and at least two villages were completely destroyed, Iranian authorities said.

Houses in Iranian villages are often made of concrete blocks or mud brick that can crumble and collapse in a strong quake. 

Some people are angry that among the collapsed buildings were houses that the government has built in recent years under its affordable housing programme.

Photographs posted on Iranian news websites showed rescue workers digging people out of collapsed buildings, cars smashed beneath rubble and rescue dogs trying to find signs of life under the twisted remains of collapsed buildings.

"More people will die because of cold. My family lives in a village near Sarpol e Zahab. I cannot even go there. I don't know whether they are dead or alive," Rojan Meshkat, 38, in the Kurdish city of Sanandaj told Reuters by telephone.

Iran is crisscrossed by major fault lines and has suffered several devastating earthquakes in recent years, including a magnitude 6.6 quake in 2003 that reduced the historic southeastern city of Bam to dust and killed some 31,000 people.

The quake, centred in Penjwin in Iraq's Sulaimaniyah province in the Kurdistan region, killed at least six people in Iraq and injured more than 68. 

In northern Iraq's Kurdish districts, seven were killed and 325 wounded.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies