Iran’s Top Leaders, Including Khamenei, Visit Scene of Last Week’s Devastating Earthquake
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By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, visited the earthquake-stricken area of Iran’s western Kermanshah province on Monday morning, the FARS news agency reports.
Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, Army Commander Major General Abdolrahim and other military commanders accompanied Khamenei. It was their second visit in a week after touring the area on Sunday, FARS said.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited the area last Tuesday, when officials cancelled rescue operations following the 7.3 magnitude quake three days earlier on Sunday, November 12. The area was rocked by 193 aftershocks between Sunday and Monday.
Media Sources Say Hundreds Dead and Thousands Injured
Various news reports have said between 436 and 530 residents were killed and more than 10,000 others were injured. An estimated 1,000 villages were damaged.
While visiting Kermanshah province, President Rouhani announced plans to construct tens of thousands of new homes in the quake-hit areas. "11,000 rural houses and 4,500 urban residential units have been destroyed by the quake and we need to build 30,000 houses," Rouhani said.
Khamenei “held close meetings with the quake-stricken people in Sar Pol Zohab region and went to the tents mounted for them in the village of Kwik to become aware of their needs and sympathize with the bereaved ones who have lost their family members,” according to FARS.
Khamenei advised the people to remain strong and he praised the work of the army and the Iraqi Revolutionary Guards. “If they had not been here, our pains and grief would have been more than the present levels,” he said.