A man stands near damaged homes in Varzaqan after twin powerful earthquakes shook Iran’s northwestern province of East Azarbaijan on August 11, 2012. (File photo)
Switzerland has dispatched a four-member assessment team to Iran in the wake of two powerful earthquakes which shook the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan last Saturday.
According to a statement released by the Swiss Foreign Ministry, the team will survey the damages incurred by the twin tremors, and will work with Iran’s Red Crescent Society to distribute food and medical supplies among quake-stricken people.
The Swiss team will also provide quake survivors with tents, blankets and field kitchens.
Meanwhile, Germany has expressed readiness to dispatch humanitarian aid convoys to quake-devastated regions in northwestern Iran.
On August 11, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck the city of Ahar, near the provincial capital, Tabriz, at 15:53 local time (1123 GMT). The quake struck 60 kilometers northeast of Tabriz at a depth of 9.9 kilometers.
Another quake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale jolted Varzaqan and Haris districts, which are located near Ahar, 11 minutes later at a similar depth. The epicenter of the quake was 49 kilometers (30 miles) northeast of Tabriz.
Twelve villages in Varzaqan were leveled by the earthquake and about 60 others were partially destroyed. Thousands of people were forced to remain outdoors as at least 20 aftershocks rocked the area.
Thousands of tents have already been set up to shelter those displaced by the quakes.