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More than 300 killed as powerful earthquake hit Iran-Iraq border region

Sunday’s quake is the deadliest to hit Iran since 2012.

A 7.3-magnitude earthquake has shaken the northern border region between Iran and Iraq, killing about 350 people and injuring thousands more, the BBC has reported.

More than 5,000 people were also injured in iran according to emergency officials.

 

The quake hit at 21:18 local time (18:18 GMT) about 30km southwest of Halabja, near the northeastern border with Iran, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The majority of those who died were in Iran’s western Kermanshah province. Nearly 5,660 were said to be injured.

Seven people died in Iraq, where people fled into the streets in the capital, Baghdad.

“I was sitting with my kids having dinner and suddenly the building was just dancing in the air,” a Baghdad mother-of-three, Majida Ameer, told Reuters news agency.

“I thought at first that it was a huge bomb. But then I heard everyone around me screaming: ‘Earthquake!'”

Many homes in the predominantly Kurdish mountainous area are made of mud bricks. As a result, they are at risk of collapse during a significant earthquake like the one that struck on Sunday.

Rescue teams were being hampered by landslides, Mr Koolivand said.

The earthquake struck at a relatively shallow depth of 23.2 km, and tremors were felt in Turkey, Israel and Kuwait.

In 2003, a 6.6-magnitude quake destroyed the historic city of Bam in south-east Iran, killing 26,000 people.

Sunday’s quake is the deadliest to hit Iran since 2012. But it is only the sixth earthquake of magnitude-7.0 or more in 2017.

 

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