November 14, 2017 7:24 pm
Updated: November 15, 2017 2:49 pm

Winnipeggers with family near Iran-Iraq earthquake ‘feel helpless’ as death count rises

WATCH: The death toll surpassed 500 after an earthquake along the Iran-Iraq border, leaving family in Winnipeg desperate to find out their loved ones well-beings. Global's Zahra Premji reports.

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As the death toll climbs past 500 in Sunday’s earthquake at the Iran-Iraq border, the sleepless nights continue for Winnipeggers who still have family living there.

Omar Rahimi and some friends and family fled to Winnipeg for safety years ago and started a new life in the city. But not all of their family members were able to make it to Canada.

Some continued to lived in different parts of Iran and Iraq and many right at the border between the two where a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck on Sunday.

READ MORE: Iran-Iraq border earthquake leaves more than 400 dead, thousands injured

Rahimi said there’s a feeling of helplessness with his family and friends living in Winnipeg as they wait to hear how their families back home are doing.

“All we can do is worry and feel helpless,” Rahimi said.

He said about 500 villages in the border between Iraq and Iran were hit and most of the people living in those villages were refugees.

“Now [the] earthquake hit them and they lost everything again,” Rahimi said.

He said they were also living with such minimal shelter and very few belongings that he doesn’t know how they’ll be able to rebuild their lives.

With the feeling of devastation lingering for the dozens of Winnipeg families sitting helplessly and waiting, they’ve decided to put together a Go Fund me page to help the more than 7,000 people injured by the quake.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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