Ban Pledges Aid to Iran and Pakistan Following Powerful Earthquake

TEHRAN, 17 April 2013 (UNIC) - Voicing sorrow over the victims of Tuesday’s earthquake in Iran and Pakistan, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon promised both countries United Nations assistance should they need it.

“I understand that the damage is less than might have been expected for an earthquake of this strength,” he said at a ceremony marking the re-opening of the Security Council Chamber following its refurbishment. “Still, there are deaths and terrible damage. I express my profound condolences to the families of the victims, and to the Governments and people of both countries.

“I will continue to follow the news closely as relief workers and search and rescue teams reach the areas. The United Nations stands ready to help as necessary if asked to do so,” he added.

According to media reports dozens of people were killed in both countries when the quake struck the border region, with one Iranian official quoted as saying it was the biggest earthquake in Iran in 40 years with the death toll expected to be in the hundreds.