Strong Quake Hits Near Iran-Iraq Border, Killing Scores

Iraqis search for the trapped citizens in collapsed buildings after a 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit northern Iraq in Derbendihan district of Sulaymaniyah, Iraq on Sunday. Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

A magnitude 7.3 earthquake that struck northern Iraq and parts of Iran has killed more than 140 people and injured at least 850 in Iran alone, according to state media there. It is the strongest quake to hit the region in years.

NPR’s Jane Arraf, reporting from the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, says that four people were confirmed dead in Darbandikhan in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. However, the quake struck after dark and authorities warned that the death toll was likely to rise.

Jane says “In Erbil, hospital authorities said dozens of people had been admitted for treatment. Buildings were shaking here. A lot of people rushed out of their houses into the street.

Iraqis search for the trapped citizens over the collapsed buildings after a 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit northern Iraq in Derbendihan district of Sulaymaniyah, Iraq on Sunday. Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Jane reports that engineers were checking for damage to the Darbandikhan dam and have informed people living near the river to leave. Officials at the larger Mosul dam said there were no immediate signs of damage.

Tremors were reportedly felt as far away as Baghdad and Tehran, she said.

Behnam Saeedi, a spokesman for Iran’s National Disaster Management Organization, said on state television that at least 141 people were killed in Iran and that more than 850 were injured.

The Associated Press quoting Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency said rescue work was continuing overnight and would intensify come daybreak. AP quoted the semi-official ILNA news agency as saying at least 14 provinces in Iran had been affected by the earthquake.

Social media from Iran showed signs of damage — broken glass and collapsed structures.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter of the quake was located about 150 miles northeast of Baghdad and 450 miles west of Tehran. Tremor could be felt in both capitals, reports said.

Reuters, quoting state media, says Kermanshah is the hardest-hit province in Iran and that nearly 100 victims come from a single town there — Sarpol-e Zahab, located about 10 miles from the Iraq border. The main hospital in the town was reported to have been heavily damaged.

Source: NPR

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