Iranian Red-Crescent workers search for survivors amidst the rubble in the village of Bajeh Baj, in the city of Varzaqan, north-western province of East Azerbaijan, Iran, 12 August 2012. Credit: EPA

The Iran Red Crescent Society (IRCS) is on the ground providing life-saving aid to help thousands affected by two strong earthquakes which struck northwestern Iran on Saturday.

Reports indicate that approximately 300 people have been killed, more than 2,000 injured and 17,000 displaced. About 180 rural villages have been affected, including six which have been completely destroyed.

The IRCS has more than 90 teams with 800 staff and volunteers from across the country responding. They are assisting with search and rescue, providing first aid and emergency provisions. The IRCS has set up tents to provide shelter to more than 48,000 people who were evacuated as a result of the earthquakes.

With Iran straddling a major geological fault line, making it prone to seismic activity, the IRCS is well prepared to respond to such emergencies.

To date the IRCS has not requested the support of its international sister societies, however the Canadian Red Cross is on standby with emergency supplies and personnel if needed.