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Germany

German Disaster Team Awaits Iran Consent

Germany's Technisches Hilfwerk (THW), the country's volunteer civil-defense organization, announced on Wednesday that it had offered to fly a disaster-relief team to southeastern Iran to help rescue people buried in rubble near the city of Zarand. THW, which is subsidized by the government, specializes in clearing damage, opening roads and repairing utilities after disasters. "If the Iranian government asks for us, our special earthquake team would be ready to go at a few hours' notice," said THW spokesman Florian Weber. A THW delegation was being briefed by German diplomats and the German Interior Ministry disaster center in advance of such a call. The 6.4 magnitude quake struck in the early hours of Tuesday morning and was centerd near Zarand in Kerman province, 740km (460 miles) from the capital, Tehran. Some 30,000 people in about 40 villages spread over a wide, mountainous area have been affected and the death toll is currently estimated at around 450, with about 900 injured.

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