Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Jan. 10, 2019 - On January 6, a 5.9-magnitude earthquake hit Gilan-e Gharb city in the western fringes of Iran’s Kermanshah province. Following the incident, Iranian regime officials declared they were assessing the inflicted damages.
But if past earthquakes in Kermanshah (or anywhere else in the country, for that matter) are any indication, the Iranian regime will never issue a full and proper report of the amount of damage that the people of the region have subdued. Meanwhile, solely reporting the damages will solve none of the many problems the people of the affected region are faced with in the aftermath of the natural disaster.
Immediately after the earthquake, the people whose homes and shops had been damaged filed damage reports to the government Housing Foundation office in Gilan-e Gharb so that the foundation’s experts could make the proper assessments. But as is the Iranian regime’s routine, government officials took no measures to remedy the situation and make amends for the damages dealt to the lives of the city’s inhabitants.
Likewise, “assessments” over the damages caused during an earthquake in Qasr-e Shirin, another Kermanshah city, which happened more than two months ago, are still ongoing! This means that the Iranian regime hasn’t taken any serious steps to even compile a damage report on the natural disasters that have hit the province, let alone send relief efforts and try to remedy the suffering of the people of the region.
The epicenter of the Jan 6 earthquake was located in the Shiakouh heights at 32 kilometers’ distance from Gilan-e Gharb. An approximate 100 people were injured. The infrastructures of the city were severely damaged. The city’s potable water has become muddied and the entrance to the city’s main water tank has been ruptured. The ways that connect the city to nearby villages have been blocked, making the daily lives of the people of the region harder.
According to reports and videos published in social media networks, the financial damage caused by the earthquake was considerable. Most of the damage was done to low-resistance residential buildings of Gilan-e Gharb and the livestock preservation buildings in the surrounding villages. Without proper support, the people of the region don’t have the means and facilities to build strong buildings that will protect them against earthquakes and other natural disasters.
The panic and terror caused by the earthquake has become one of the most serious problems of the people of the region. The people are in constant fear and stress from the possibility of another disaster and they feel insecure.
Even the government buildings such as government offices and schools don’t have strong infrastructure and won’t stand an earthquake of considerable magnitude. In the recent earthquake, many government buildings and schools were damaged.
One of the MPs from Qasr-e Shirin said, “Given that schools were open and working at the time of the earthquake, nine of the injured are schoolchildren because the school buildings of Gilan-e Gharb are not strong enough [to withstand the quake].”
The current problems of the people of Gilan-e Gharb are happening while the Iranian regime is still neglecting the miseries of victims of the disastrous 7.3-magnitude earthquake that struck Kermanshah in November 2017, leaving 830 dead and 8,100 injured.
After 14 months, many of the people of the region are still living in makeshift homes, which means there’s no sign of relief efforts and government projects to restore housing, health and livelihood conditions to their previous state.
Farhad Tajari, a member of the Iranian regime’s parliament, admitted that the people of Gilan-e Gharb still don’t have proper shelter, they don’t even have trailers. “They will have to sleep in tents and cars in very harsh conditions,” the MP said. Tajari also warned that with earthquakes regularly happening in the area and the government not taking proper measures, there’s a real threat that the people will start deserting the region and migrating to other locations where they feel safer.
Given the track record of Hassan Rouhani’s government, there’s no serious prospect of help coming to the victims of the Gilan-e Gharb earthquake.
On the anniversary of the Kermanshah earthquake, Ruydad 24 website wrote, “A year passes from the 7.5-magnitude earthquake that hit Kermanshah. This was an earthquake that was so powerful that its tremors reached as far as Iraq and Turkey and it destroyed many homes in Kermanshah. There is a large number of people who are still living in trailers and tents. The living conditions of home renters in the region is still uncertain. The home owners don’t know what to do with the current situation. Pollution in the temporary residential area of the earthquake victims (which has effectively become their permanent homes) has become a source of diseases in the region. There’s news of suicides in the region and now, on the anniversary of the earthquake, we’re at the doorsteps of the cold season, and all the calamities of last year will repeat themselves.”