Quake near Iran-Iraq border kills over 400 people across both countries

Powerful 7.3 magnitude quake sends residents fleeing their homes at night. A powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake near the Iraq-Iran border killed over 400 people across both countries, sending residents fleeing their homes into the night. It was felt as far away as the Mediterranean coast, authorities said yesterday.

People, including rescue personnel, conduct search and rescue operations at Sarpol-e Zahab

Iran's western Kermanshah province bore the brunt of the temblor Sunday night, with authorities saying the quake killed 407 people in the country and injured 6,700. Kermanshah is a rural, mountainous region where residents rely mainly on farming.

Iranians mourn over the body of a victim. Pic/AFP
Iranians mourn over the body of a victim. Pic/AFP

In Iraq, the earthquake killed at least seven people and injured 535, all in the country's northern Kurdish region, according to Iraq's Interior Ministry. The quake was centred 31 kilometers outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja, according to the most recent measurements from the US Geological Survey. It struck at 9.48 pm Iran time, just as people began retiring for the night. It could be felt on the Mediterranean coast, some 1,000 kilometers away.

Iranian social media and news agencies showed images and videos of people fleeing their homes. More than 100 aftershocks followed. The quake's worst damage appeared to be in the town of Sarpol-e-Zahab in Kermanshah province, which sits in the Zagros Mountains that divide Iran and Iraq.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani is scheduled to tour earthquake-damaged areas today. The semi-official ILNA news agency said at least 14 provinces in Iran had been affected by the earthquake. In Iraq, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi issued a directive for the country's civil defence teams and "related institutions" to respond to the natural disaster.

Top News