Earthquakes in northwest Iran kill more than 200 people

More than 200 people were killed and at least 1,300 injured when two earthquakes struck in northwest Iran. Rescue efforts are still underway in several villages amid at least 20 aftershocks.

The first quake occurred on Saturday and was measured by the U.S. Geological Survey at 6.4 magnitude and another only minutes later measuring 6.3.

Iranian officials told media sources that the number of dead may be more than has initially been reported. Some of those who were trapped and injured are in critical condition. Sources say that dozens of villages received 50 percent damage.

Back in 2003 Iran suffered a 6.6 magnitude earthquake destroying the city of Bam and killing more than 25,000 people.

Officials and rescue workers said that emergency assistance is needed.

The international headquarters for Manichaeans is also located in Iran. Spokesperson Michael Tarendra said there were no injuries of staff or structural damage and that the Spiritual Patriarch had called for prayer in behalf of those who are suffering as a result of this tragedy.

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