TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani expressed his condolences to the Turkish people and government over the casualties of a recent strong earthquake that hit east of the country.
In a message to his Turkish counterpart, Mustafa Sentop, on Saturday evening, Larijani expressed deep sorrow over the deaths and injuries of a number of Turkish people in the Friday quake in Elazig province, about 550 km (340 miles) east of the capital Ankara.
He further voiced the country’s readiness to provide any kind of assistance for the quake-stricken people in Turkey.
At least 29 people have been killed and more than 1,400 injured in the magnitude-6.8 quake.
Forty-three people have been rescued so far, with more than 20 feared to remain trapped, officials say.
State broadcaster TRT showed footage of dozens of workers in the dawn light using shovels to dig out a partly collapsed building in Elazig. Windows were smashed and balconies from at least four stories had crashed to the ground.
Teams worked through the night with their hands, drills and mechanical diggers to remove bricks and plaster from the ruins in the city where the overnight temperature dipped to -8 degrees Celsius.
Earthquakes are common in Turkey – about 17,000 people died in a quake in the western city of Izmit in 1999.