Armenia expressed readiness on Monday to provide more humanitarian assistance to victims of a powerful earthquake that killed more than 300 people and injured thousands of others in neighboring Iran on August 11.
The Armenian government sent late last week five truckloads of aid worth about 57 million drams ($140,00) to the northwestern Iranian province of Eastern Azerbaijan that was jolted by the 6.4 magnitude earthquake. They carried tents, blankets, portable beds, food and drinking water to surviving residents of local villages.
The Armenian ambassador to Iran, Grigor Arakelian also travelled to the area bordering Armenia’s southeastern Syunik province and met with the regional governor, Ahmad Alireza Beygi. According to the Armenian Foreign Ministry, Beygi thanked the Armenian government for the relief aid.
In Yerevan, Emergency Situations Minister Armen Yeritsian said the government is ready to send more such aid if it is requested by the Iranian side.
Speaking at a news conference, Yeritsian announced no government plans to help residents of Armenian towns and villages close to the Iranian border whose houses were damaged by the disaster. Residents of at least one of those villages, Varhavar, have slept outdoors for several consecutive nights for fear of more devastating tremors.
Officials from Syunik’s regional administration last week visited Varhavar to assess the damage. The head of the administration’s construction department, Arshak Ustabashian, said on Friday that their written findings will be submitted to the Ministry for Local Government in Yerevan. The ministry will decide whether to recommend any government assistance to local villagers, he said.