January 2,
Earthquake: Malaysian volunteers arrive in Iran to join relief workers

KERMAN Jan 2 - A five-member team from the Malaysian International Volunteers Fire Rescue Association (MIVFRA) arrived here Thursday to join other relief workers in the earthquake-hit Silkroad city of Bam, some 120 km from here.

The team headed by MVFRA Operations Officer Capt K. Balasupramaniam had arrived in Tehran from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia yesterday, together with a news team from the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama).

They will leave for Bam Friday.

Meanwhile the airport's lobby here has been turned into a temporary place for some 50 people who were injured in the devastating earthquake last Friday.

Dr Naameez Arshad from the International Red Cross told Bernama that all the hospitals in the city were full of injured people.

He said two hospitals in Bam were also badly destroyed in the earthquake.

"An average of 50 trips were made daily to ferry the injured from Bam to here. The badly injured were airlifted by the Iranian Air Force," he said.

He said the journey to Bam took three hours instead of the normal two hours due as the road was serious congested.

"Medicine is enough but we are hoping for any support that the international community can provide. We also need more volunteers due to the large operations here," he said.

He said there were just too many injured people for the International Red Cross to handle alone.

Two other teams from Malaysia had arrived in Bam. They are from the Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRSC) and Malaysian Medical Relief Society (Mercy Malaysia).

Balasupramaniam said they would also do the monitoring for Salam Foundation, another voluntary organisation in Malaysia, which was planning to send humanitarian aid to the victims.

The pre-dawn earthquake, the biggest in 10 years, had killed some 35,000 people. - Bernama


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