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TREMORS FELT IN GULF

Iranians stay outside their building following the quake.
Image courtesy: EPA

Over 300 killed as quake rocks Iran-Iraq border area

BAGHDAD, November 13, 2017

A 7.3-magnitude earthquake rattled the northern border region between Iran and Iraq, killing over 328 people and injuring 3,950 others and triggering landslides that were hindering the rescue effort, said a BBC report.

Tremors were felt all over the region, including the Gulf countries.

Footage posted on Twitter showed people fleeing a building in Sulaimaniyah, northern Iraq, as windows shattered at the moment the quake struck late on Sunday, while images from the nearby town of Darbandikhan showed major walls and concrete structures had collapsed.

At least 129 people were killed in Iran’s western province of Kermanshah on the Iraqi border, the provincial deputy governor told state television. “We are in the process of setting up three emergency relief camps,” said Mojtaba Nikkerdar, the deputy governor of Iran’s Kermanshah province.

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

The quake hit 30 km southwest of Halabja in Iraq’s Kurdistan at around 9.20 pm, when many people would have been at home, the US Geological Survey said.

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

Six more were reported dead in Iraq. The death toll is likely to rise, the BBC report said.

Most of the victims were in the town of Sarpol-e Zahab, about 15km from the border, Iran's emergency services chief, Pir Hossein Koolivand was quoted as saying on Iranian state television channel IRINN.

It was “difficult to send rescue teams to the villages because the roads have been cut off… there have been landslides,” he added.

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

Damage was reported in at least eight villages, the head of Iran's Red Crescent Organisation, Morteza Salim, told the channel.
 
On the Iraqi side, the most extensive damage was in the town of Darbandikhan, 75km east of the city of Sulaimaniyah in the Kurdistan Region.
 
"The situation there is very critical," Kurdish Health Minister Rekawt Hama Rasheed told Reuters news agency.



Tags: Quake | Iran | Iraq |

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