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Over 90 percent of Iran's quake victims in critical condition

Over 90 percent of victims of the 6.3-Richter scale earthquake in the southeastern city of Bam who were taken to capital city of Kerman are in critical condition, IRNA reported from Kerman.

Deputy dean of Kerman University of Medical Sciences for Treatment Affairs Massoud Amini told IRNA that a number of staff of Bam hospitals have been dead or wounded by the quake.

He added that Kerman hospitals face no serious problem in terms of medicine and blood supply.

Amini noted that tents for emergency treatment are set up by the provincial Red Crescent.

A group of experts, physicians and nurses have been dispatched to the quake-stricken region, he said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Health Minister Mohammad Ismail Akbari told IRNA a crisis management center has been set up in the ministry to offer medical services.

He said two airplanes and two helicopters are taking the injured to hospitals in Isfahan province.

The official noted that there are not yet exact reports on the the scale of this tragedy, adding the ministry dispatched medical teams from Yazd, Zahedan, Hormuzgan and Isfahan provinces to the region.

He said all hospitals in neighboring provinces are put on standby.

Governor General of Kerman province Mohammad-Ali Karimi told IRNA that two hospitals in Bam city have been ruined.

"We have no exact information about the scale of the damage or deaths yet since all telephone communications with the cities of Bam and Kerman had been cut off," he added.

The strong earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 on the open-ended Richter scale rocked the city of Bam in Kerman province at 5:28 hour local time (0158 GMT) on Friday.

Several aftershocks, at least one up to 5.3 degrees on Richter scale, hit the quake-stricken city of Bam after the 6.3-degree quake rocked the city.

... Payvand News - 12/26/03 ... --

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