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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 February 2005, 10:05 GMT
Eyewitness: Iran earthquake
Crowd gathers around destroyed homes in village of Dahuyeh, Iran
Local villages were left decimated by the earthquake
Thousands of people have been left homeless after the large earthquake which hit southern Iran, killing at least 500 people.

The BBC News website spoke to Dr MJ Fadaee, deputy to the regional governor in the affected Kerman province, about attempts to help those who have been affected by the disaster.

Around 30,000 people have been affected in the area, with hundreds of people killed.

One village near Zarand was totally destroyed. In other villages such as Roshan up to 90% of buildings have been razed.

We were amazed about the earthquake - everything was shaking badly when it happened
Other villages have been less affected. We have teams now in Zarand and Kerman city and in the regions worst affected working for these people.

I was at home in Kerman city this morning when it happened. We were affected but not that seriously, there are others much worse than us.

Still, we were amazed about the earthquake. Everything was shaking badly when it happened. The damage in Kerman inside the city is not too bad - we have some structural damage to buildings in the city and some have collapsed.

Right now everything is OK, we have no real serious problems, we are just concentrating on helping the people in need.

The most serious need for those people affected is for temporary camps and blankets and plastic materials. We have severe rain and snow so we must put up tents and gather waterproof materials to be sent to the regions affected.

We have about 1,600 people working to help people, including volunteers, the police and workers from the Red Cross and Red Crescent. They are moving some people in the regions to other local cities and towns for temporary accommodation.

We must also transfer people to Zarand city from their local homes for a few days for their safety.

We now know everything about what is happening in all the places affected. Some of the villages which were hit are hard to get to because the mountain roads are closed from rain and snow but information is coming in.

Nine helicopters were sent to the region affected to transfer people injured and also to bring in the materials needed. The helicopters have had some serious problems with the weather, but we're working to overcome that.

Right now our priorities are temporary houses for people and also helping open temporary schools so children can have classes. All the schools in the areas affected are closed and so we need to make sure the children are still in class.

Right now we have too much to do, but maybe in a week or two we will be able to think about what we can do to reconstruct people's homes and businesses.

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