2,300 jobs lost since Kermanshah quake

Financial Tribune – Some 800 people have become unemployed following the recent earthquake in the western Iranian province, while the natural disaster has caused the indirect unemployment of 1,500 people, the head of Industries, Mining and Trade Organization of Kermanshah Province said.

“Damage cause to industrial facilities are likely to reach 300 billion rials ($7.5 million) while only a small fraction of these factories has earthquake insurance,” Tasnim News Agency also quoted Nematollah Haqiqi as saying.

Noting that damage to 77 industrial units of the province ranges from 10 to 100%, the official said 40 units have been damaged in Sarpol-Zahab County, the region hit hardest by the earthquake.

According to Haqiqi, the quake inflicted losses estimated at around 8 trillion rials ($200 million) on the agriculture sector of Kermanshah Province.

“Damage caused to livestock farms, fodder barns and agricultural processing industries accounts for 3 trillion rials ($75 million) of the total amount,” he said last week.

“More than 3.3 trillion rials ($82.5 million) in damage were inflicted on water and soil infrastructures, including pumping stations, water wells and irrigation pools.”

Noting that the estimated damage to fisheries stands at 170 billion rials ($4.25 million), Haqiqi said the loss of livestock includes 197,000 head of light livestock worth 1,400 billion ($35 million), 3,800 head of heavy livestock worth 160 billion rials ($4 million), 10,000 honeybee colonies worth 30 billion rials ($750,000) and 115,000 chickens worth 12 billion rials (300,000).

Damage amounting to 170 billion rials ($4.25 million) was inflicted on office buildings of the organization.

The 7.3 magnitude earthquake rocked Kermanshah Province and the regions bordering Iraq on Nov. 8, killing over 500 people and injuring thousands of others.

Government Spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht said the government will allocate 6,590 billion rials ($164 million) in loans and 2,810 billion rials ($70 million) as grants to households in the western province. “Households in rural areas will receive 250 million rials ($6,250) in loans and 50 million rials ($1,250) as grants, while residents of urban areas will get loans to the tune of 350 million rials ($8,750) and grants worth 60 million rials ($1,500),” he said last week.

“The government will offer 120 million rials ($3,000) in loans and 20 million rials ($500) as grants to households who need to repair their quake-damaged homes,” Nobakht said.