Earthquake in Iran and Iraq on November 12, 2017
On November 12, 2017, at 7:18 pm, an earthquake of Mw 7.2 affected a large portion of the border between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Iraq, leading to widespread critical situations in the two countries. The official balance of the Iranian authorities is of 423 dead and 7.370 injured, while in Iraq the authorities have counted 8 dead and 336 injured. This situation brought about, on the part of the international community, an immediate response by making civil protection assets and capabilities available. Many countries, including several European states, provided assistance while waiting for a formal request from the authorities of the affected territories.
The Authorities of the Republic of Iraq, through the Ministry of Interior of the Regional Government of Iraqi Kurdistan, asked the United Nations to send doctors, first aid kits, medicines and surgical equipment to the city of Sulaymanyah.
Italy's response was immediate and, according to the indications received from the President of the Council of Ministers, on 14 November the transport and delivery of humanitarian aid was organized with the help of a team from the Civil Protection Department, assigned to a mission in Iraq. The preparation and transfer of the material from the logistic pole of Avezzano to the military airport of Pratica di Mare, was carried out with the help of the staff of the Italian Red Cross. In addition to its own load of self-standing tents, the Civil Protection Department also handled the management and transfer of aid made available by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, consisting of bedding and hygiene kits, for a total of 15 tons of material.
On the afternoon of 13 November, the Department's team selected and prepared the cargo at the Avezzano interport, before heading to Pratica di Mare Airport.
After a stop at Brindisi Airport to load more material, the boing 767 took off to reach the Italian military base of Al Minhad (Dubai - UAE) in the night between 14 and 15 November.
On the same day, the Air Force's C130J aircraft flew to Sulaymaniyya airport (Iraqi Kurdistan), making a stopover in the city of Baghdad, Iraq, to carry out customs clearance and related security checks carried out by local authorities. At the airport of Sulaymaniya the team of the Department was received by the Italian Consul in Erbil Mrs Serena Muroni, by the Governor of Sulaymaniyya Omar Ahmed Amin and by the Director of the Joint Crisis Coordination Centre of Kurdistan Hoshang Mohamed.
On November 17, the team returned to Italy by scheduled flight.
Throughout the mission the Department's team was constantly assisted by the Italian Air Force personnel and maintained contact with the Italian Situation Room and the Director of the Operational Office for Emergency Management.
Subsequently, on November 22, the Resolution of the Council of Ministers was issued to declare a state of emergency as a result of the seismic event that occurred on November 12, 2017 in the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Iraq.