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At least 130 dead and hundreds injured as 7.3 magnitude earthquake hits Iraq border

Tremors could be felt as far away as in the UAE after a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck Northern Iraq.

At least 140 people have died and more than 800 have been injured as the quake hit Iraq's Kurdish region near the Iranian border, as well as impacting Baghdad and villages across the border in Iran.

Initially thought to be a 7.2 magnitude earthquake, the incident was revised up to 7.3.


According to the US Geological Suvey, the quake struck at 10.18pm, at a depth of 33.9km. The extent of damage and casualties remain to be seen.

At least 129 people have died in western Iran's Kermanshah province, officials told state media.

This death toll jumped up from 61 dead and 300 injured within a few hours.

n the Iraqi border, the provincial deputy governor told state television.

Four more have been reported dead in Iraq, where the death toll is likely to rise.

On top of the 300 injured in Iran, unverified figures say more than 200 have been injured in Iraq. The unofficial numbers indicate that 50 people have been injured in Sulaymaniyah province and 150 have been hurt in Khanaquin city.

On the Iraqi side, the most extensive damage was in the town of Darbandikhan, 75 kms (47 miles) east of the city of Sulaimaniyah in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region. More than 30 people were injured in the town, according to the Kurdish Health Minister Rekawt Hama Rasheed, who described the situation as "critical".

The district’s main hospital was severely damaged and had no power, Rasheed said, so the injured were being taken to Sulaimaniyah for treatment. There was extensive structural damage to buildings and homes.

There were reports of injuries in a stretch of cities, towns and rural villages near the Iranian border, including Halabja, Khanaqin and Panjwin.

In Halabja, local officials said that a 12-year-old boy died from an electric shock when an electric cable fell during the earthquake.

Rescue teams are being hampered by landslides.

Witnesses said buildings being evacuated as they shook violently.

Residents were keeping away from their homes and sleeping on the streets, several hours after the quake hit.

Iraq’s interior minister ordered civil defence and fire fighting crews to be on high alert after the quake.

Anearthquake victim is aided at Sulaimaniyah Hospital on November 12, 2017, in Sulaimaniyah, Iraq.Officials in Iran reports at least 30 dead and Iraqi officials 6. The US Geological Survey said the magnitude 7.3 temblor was centred 30kms (19 miles) southwest of Halabja, Iraq, near the border with Iran. / AFP PHOTO / SHWAN MOHAMMED

A number of Iranian cities have lost power.

In Iraq, many residents in the capital Baghdad rushed out of houses and tall buildings in panic, with some thinking the quake was a bomb explosion.

“I was sitting with my kids having dinner and suddenly the building was just dancing in the air,” said Majida Ameer, who ran out of her building in the capital’s Salihiya district with her three children. “I thought at first that it was a huge bomb. But then I heard everyone around me screaming ‘Earthquake!'”

Aftershocks and tremors were reportedly as far a field as Kuwait. Residents in the UAE took to social media to report they felt the tremors.

Mosques in Iraq have been saying prayers through loudspeakers.

Qubad Talabani, Deputy Prime Minister of Kurdistan, expressed his fears and condolences on Twitter.

He said: "A real earthquake has just added to the political, security, humanitarian and economic earthquakes to have hit Kurdistan & Iraq.

"Praying everyone affected is safe and unharmed."

Iran often suffers from earthquakes. In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake devastated the city of Bam, killing 26,000 people.

Source: thenational

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