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Iraq Earthquake Emergency Plan of Action Final Report DREF n° MDRIQ009

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A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

On 12 November, a 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit the northern border region between Iran and Iraq. The earthquake hit at 21:18 local time (18:18 GMT) about 30 miles (19 km) southwest of Halabja, near the north-eastern border with Iran.

The earthquake occurred at a relatively shallow depth of 33.9 km (216 miles), and tremors were felt in Turkey, Israel, Kuwait, and the Gulf. The earthquake triggered multiple landslides, hampering rescue efforts in the mountainous region. Approximately 600 aftershocks have been recorded in the aftermath of the earthquake, with the latest occurring at the Iran-Iraq border region at 15:15 UTC on November 22 November, reportedly with a 4.2 magnitude.

The most affected areas are in Sulaymaniya Governorate, notably Darbandikhan District. Major cities affected include Darbandikhan, Halabja, Khanaqin, Kalar, Sulaymaniyah and Erbil.

The earthquake killed 10 people and injured 469 people. The earthquake is reported to have been the strongest recorded in 2017. The earthquake damaged health clinics and homes, forcing people to sleep outside or in damaged buildings, with temperatures dropping below freezing.

Summary of response

Overview of Host National Society

The IRCS has reached 3,025 direct beneficiaries and 2,475 indirect beneficiaries located in neighbouring communities. Direct beneficiaries received shelter materials and non-food items food and hygiene its, while those indirect affected were supported with food and hygiene kits.

The IRCS with its Emergency Response Team was the first humanitarian organization to respond after the earthquake. IRCS worked around the clock in response to the earthquake, carried out search and rescue, provided first aid and psychosocial support in earthquake affected communities. The IRCS has also supported the evacuation of 256 patients from the damaged Sulaymaniyah Hospital and students from the dormitories in Halabja. IRCS distributed 100 tents, including seven tents for Darbandikhan General Hospital and 42 tents for the Halabja University and erected a rub hall at Halabja Obstetric Hospital.

An emergency committee was immediate established by IRCS to assess the situation and the damages occurred. The committee conducted initial assessments in the affected areas of Kalar, Darbandikhan, and Halabja. The IRCS response was fully coordinated with the local public authorities, specifically the governorates in affected areas.

ICRS medical teams provided emergency first aid and transported the injured for further treatment. IRCS donated 60 first aid kits to Sulaymaniyah Hospital- Emergency Department. In addition, IRCS provided medical supplies such as dressing and disinfection materials to hospitals in Darbandikhan and Halabja.

IRCS provided hot meals to earthquake affected people as an immediate measure, and distributed food parcels to sustain families for one month. IRCS also distributed shelter material, blankets, mattresses, kerosene heaters, kitchen sets, jerry cans and hygiene kits, towels and lanterns

The IRCS has carried out this response using prepositioned stocks of relief item as shown above from its warehouses to be reallocated from federation gradually. This DREF has been used to replenish this stock.

Overview of Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in country

Through its country presence in Iraq, IFRC helped coordinate the DREF operation by assisting IRCS in replenishing stocks and other resources employed in their rapid initial response.

The DREF operation has been replenished by the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG-ECHO). On behalf of the IRCS, IFRC would like to thank donors for their contributions. All donors to the DREF are found here: