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4:34, 13 November 2017

Iraq-Iran earthquake: Deadly tremor hits border region

Iraq-Iran earthquake: Deadly tremor hits border area

  • 13 November 2017
  • From the section Middle East
A damaged storefront is seen after an earthquake in Halabja, IraqImage copyright Reuters
Image caption A broken storefront in Halabja, Iraq, close to the epicentre of the quake

A 7.three-magnitude earthquake has rattled the northern border region amongst Iran and Iraq, killing at least 135 people and injuring hundreds far more.

At least 129 men and women died in western Iran’s Kermanshah province, officials told state media.

Six more had been reported dead in Iraq. The death toll is likely to rise.

The earthquake sparked panic, with fears of aftershocks sending residents out into the streets.

Mosques in the Iraqi capital Baghdad have been broadcasting prayers via loudspeakers.

Most of the victims had been in the town of Sarpol-e Zahab, about 15km (ten miles) from the border, Iran’s emergency solutions chief, Pir Hossein Koolivand was quoted as saying on Iranian state television channel IRINN.

The town’s main hospital was severely damaged, leaving it struggling to treat hundreds of wounded, state Tv reported.

Image caption Many Baghdad residents left their homes for the streets when the quake struck

Damage was reported in at least eight villages, the head of Iran’s Red Crescent Organisation, Morteza Salim, told the channel.

«Some other villages have suffered energy cuts and their telecommunications technique has also been disturbed,» he said.

Rescue teams have been becoming hampered by landslides, Mr Koolivand mentioned.

On the Iraqi side, the most extensive damage was in the town of Darbandikhan, 75km (47 miles) east of the city of Sulaimaniyah in the Kurdistan Area.

«The situation there is quite essential,» Kurdish Wellness Minister Rekawt Hama Rasheed told Reuters news agency.

The quake hit 19 miles (30km) southwest of Halabja, near the northeastern border with Iran, the US Geological Survey (USGS) mentioned.

The occurred at a depth of 33.9 km (21 miles), and tremors had been felt in Turkey, Israel and Kuwait. Iran sits across key fault lines and is prone to frequent earthquakes.

BBC News — Home

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