Roji Kurd: Iran’s decision to call off the rescue efforts, only 30 hours after the earthquake, can result in burying hundreds of possible survivors alive.
The inadequate short search and rescue operations, which was only concentrated in two major cities, completely left out more than 1900 villages.
Furthermore, the government officials and revolutionary guards have been
suppressing the grassroots aid efforts as well as stopping the delivery trucks, full of donations and aid, to reach the victims of the earthquake.
Critics accused the government officials of stealing aid and theft of the citizens donated relief supplies.
Over the past four days, there has been an unprecedented deluge of aid from the ordinary citizens, especially from all the neighbouring Kurdish cities and provinces. However, when it comes to distributing the aid most of that relief isn’t getting to those who needed it most, as the government officials stop the delivery of aid and take over the supplies.
Volunteers on the ground reported that truck drivers carrying donated supplies were stopped by revolutionary guards at roadblocks. These roadblocks prevent supplies from arriving to the affected towns and villages. Many were forced to turn in the goods to police bases or government controlled warehouses.
Activists seeking disaster relief donations, urge public not to hand in the money and supplies raised by people to government officials. They have been working to coordinate the delivery of donations, in order to distribute the aid directly to the earthquake survivors in affected towns and villages.
There are numerous reports of donated supplies, which were taken by force by the officials, later were seen either sold at the black market or sent to the capital city of Tehran.
The earthquake survivors are facing a fast approaching winter and icy rains in the coming days. However, many thousands are left without any shelter, protection and aid in freezing temperatures, having to sleep in the open on the rubbles.
As the death toll of the earthquake keeps rising, desperation intensifies among people who have spent four nights in front of their damaged homes and urgently plea for help.
Over 1000 affected Kurdish mountain villages, have not received any help from the government yet, and awaiting the badly needed aid, four days later.
By: BahoziKurdistan , Journalist and Human Right defender in Roji Kurd center.