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Iran: Quake rocks northern Iraq, Iran, 214 killed, 2500 injured

13th Nov 2017
Iran:  Quake rocks northern Iraq, Iran, 214 killed, 2500 injured

(AA) – An earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale rocked northern Iraq and Iran, the U.S. Geological Survey said on Sunday evening.

At least 214 people were killed and 2500 others injured in Iran’s border areas.

The epicenter of the quake was located around 32 kilometers (20 miles) southwest of the city of Halabja, near the Iranian border, at a depth of 33 kilometers, and hit at 9:18 p.m. local time (1818GMT), said the U.S. Geological Survey.

Initially, six people were announced dead in the border town of Qasr-e Shirin in Kermanshah Province in Iran’s west, according to Iran’s state news agency IRNA and the semi-official Fars news agency.

According to Iraqi media, the earthquake damaged buildings in certain areas of Kirkuk and Sulaymaniyah.

A local health official of Sulaymaniyah in northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) initially said at least 50 people were injured.

The first quake was followed by a dozen aftershocks ranging from 3.1 to 4.1 in magnitude, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The earthquake damaged phone, internet and powerlines throughout various towns and villages.

The quake also destroyed a number of buildings in rural areas and caused cracks in the walls of villages and towns some 122km to the West of Kermanshah city, Fars News Agency added.

Ayatullah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, in a message on Monday, expressed condolences to the Iranian people and families of the victims of the earthquake.

The earthquake was also felt in Turkey’s southeastern and eastern regions, including the Diyarbakir, Batman, Mardin, Hakkari, Van, Mus, and Sirnak provinces.

It was also felt as far away in Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon and Pakistan.

Iran sits on several major faults in the earth’s crust, and is prone to frequent earthquakes.

The worst in recent times hit Bam in southeastern Kerman province in December 2003, killing 31,000 people – about a quarter of its population – and destroying the city’s ancient mud-built citadel.

The deadliest quake in the country was in June 1990 and measured 7.7 on the Richter scale. About 37,000 people were killed and more than 100,000 injured in the northwestern provinces of Gilan and Zanjan. It devastated 27 towns and about 1,870 villages.

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Photo:  Collapsed buildings are seen in Derbendihan district of Sulaymaniyah, Iraq on November 13, 2017 following a 7.3 magnitude earthquake that hit the Iraq and Iran. Photographer: Yunus Keleş/AA]

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