Caritas Aids Quake-Damaged Iran

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 4, 2005 ( Caritas Internationalis has mobilized to assist the earthquake-battered communities on Qeshm Island in southern Iran.

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An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale struck the island, home to some 123,000, on Nov. 27, killing at least 10 people, injuring 200, and destroying 2,500 houses.

The villages of Tunban and Gavazin were among the worst hit, while considerable damages were also reported in the villages of Turian, Karevan, Kushe, Ziran and Tomsenety.

Caritas-Iran reported that tent camps have been set up to house those left homeless by the quake, and that latrines and showers are desperately needed.

The island has suffered from long periods of drought. The scarcity of water combined with inadequate sanitation facilities could lead to difficult living conditions and health hazards for the displaced villagers.

Caritas Internationalis has launched an appeal for more than $200,000 to help the victims. Through its appeal, Caritas-Iran, with support from Caritas member organizations, plans to equip tent camps with galvanized steel latrines, showers and water tanks.

Caritas-Iran also hopes to follow up its immediate response with longer-term rehabilitation and reconstruction projects.

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