At least 170 killed as strong quake rocks Iran-Iraq border

At least 170 killed as strong quake rocks Iran-Iraq border

Iraq: At least 170 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured when a 7.3-magnitude earthquake shook the mountainous Iran-Iraq border triggering landslides that hindered rescue efforts, officials said Monday.

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

“There are 164 dead and more than 1,686 injured,” Behnam Saidi, the deputy head of the Iranian government’s crisis unit set up to handle the response to the quake, told state television.

Six others were reported dead on the Iraq side of the border. We are in the process of setting up three emergency relief camps,” said Mojtaba Nikkerdar, the deputy governor of Iran’s Kermanshah province.

The quake hit 30 kilometres (19 miles) southwest of Halabja in Iraqi Kurdistan at around 9.20 pm, when many people would have been at home, the US Geological Survey said.

Iran’s emergency services chief Pir Hossein Koolivand said it was “difficult to send rescue teams to the villages because the roads have been cut off… there have been landslides”.
The worst-hit towns in Iran were Qasr-e Shirin in Kermanshah and Azgaleh, about 40 kilometres northwest, the official IRNA news agency said.

It added that 30 Red Cross teams had been sent to the quake zone, parts of which had experienced power cuts. In Iraq, officials said the quake had killed six people in Sulaimaniyah province and injured around 150.

In Sulaimaniyah, residents ran out onto the streets and some damage to property was reported, an AFP reporter there said. “Four people were killed by the earthquake” in Darbandikhan, the town’s mayor Nasseh Moulla Hassan told AFP.

A child and an elderly person were killed in Kalar, according to the director of the hospital in the town about 70 kilometres south of Darbandikhan, and 105 people injured.

The quake, which struck at a relatively shallow depth of 25 kilometres, was felt for about 20 seconds in Baghdad, and for longer in other provinces of Iraq, AFP journalists said.

On the Iranian side of the border, the tremor shook several cities in the west of the country including Tabriz.

It was also felt in southeastern Turkey, “from Malatya to Van”, an AFP correspondent said. In the town of Diyarbakir, residents were reported to have fled their homes.

The quake struck along a 1,500 kilometre fault line between the Arabian and Eurasian tectonic plates, a belt extending through western Iran and into northeastern Iraq.

The area sees frequent seismic activity. In 1990, a 7.4-magnitude quake near the Caspian sea in northern Iran killed 40,000 people and left 300,000 more injured and half a million homeless. Within seconds the quake reduced dozens of towns and nearly 2,000 villages to rubble.

Thirteen years later, a catastrophic quake struck the ancient southeast Iranian city of Bam, famed for its mud brick buildings, killing at least 31,000 people and flattening swathes of the city.

Since then, Iran has experienced at least two major quake disasters, one in 2005 that killed more than 600 and another in 2012 that left some 300 dead.

More recently, a 5.7-magnitude earthquake near Iran’s border with Turkmenistan in May killed two people, injured hundreds and caused widespread damage.

At Least 135 Dead As 7.3 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Iran-Iraq Border

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

Sulaimaniyah, Iraq (AFP): At least 135 people were killed and hundreds more injured when a 7.3-magnitude earthquake shook the mountainous Iran-Iraq border triggering landslides that were hindering rescue efforts, officials said Monday.

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

Iranian state broadcaster IRIB said 129 were dead in an updated toll posted on its website, while the official IRNA news agency said some 300 people had been injured, adding that the toll was expected to rise.

Six others were reported dead on the Iraq side of the border.

“We are in the process of setting up three emergency relief camps,” said Mojtaba Nikkerdar, the deputy governor of Iran’s Kermanshah province.

The quake hit 30 kilometres (19 miles) southwest of Halabja in Iraqi Kurdistan at around 9.20 pm, when many people would have been at home, the US Geological Survey said.

Iran’s emergency services chief Pir Hossein Koolivand said it was “difficult to send rescue teams to the villages because the roads have been cut off… there have been landslides.”

The worst-hit towns in Iran were Qasr-e Shirin in Kermanshah and Azgaleh, about 40 kilometres northwest, IRNA said.

It added that 30 Red Cross teams had been sent to the quake zone, parts of which had experienced power cuts.

In Iraq, officials said the quake had killed six people in Sulaimaniyah province and injured around 150.

In Sulaimaniyah, residents ran out onto the streets and some damage to property was reported, an AFP reporter there said.

“Four people were killed by the earthquake” in Darbandikhan, the town’s mayor Nasseh Moulla Hassan told AFP.

A child and an elderly person were killed in Kalar, according to the director of the hospital in the town about 70 kilometres south of Darbandikhan, and 105 people injured.

– Residents flee homes in Turkey –

The quake, which struck at a relatively shallow depth of 25 kilometres, was felt for about 20 seconds in Baghdad, and for longer in other provinces of Iraq, AFP journalists said.

On the Iranian side of the border, the tremor shook several cities in the west of the country including Tabriz.

It was also felt in southeastern Turkey, “from Malatya to Van”, an AFP correspondent said. In the town of Diyarbakir, residents were reported to have fled their homes.

The quake struck along a 1,500-kilometre fault line between the Arabian and Eurasian tectonic plates, a belt extending through western Iran and into northeastern Iraq.

The area sees frequent seismic activity.

In 1990, a 7.4-magnitude quake near the Caspian sea in northern Iran killed 40,000 people and left 300,000 more injured and half a million homeless. Within seconds the quake reduced dozens of towns and nearly 2,000 villages to rubble.

Thirteen years later, a catastrophic quake struck the ancient southeast Iranian city of Bam, famed for its mud brick buildings, killing at least 31,000 people and flattening swathes of the city.

Since then, Iran has experienced at least two major quake disasters, one in 2005 that killed more than 600 and another in 2012 that left some 300 dead.

More recently, a 5.7-magnitude earthquake near Iran’s border with Turkmenistan in May killed two people, injured hundreds and caused widespread damage.

90 killed in powerful earthquake near Iran-Iraq border  

Tehran/Baghdad, Nov 13 (IANS) At least 90 people were killed and over thousands injured after a powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake jolted the Iran-Iraq border area, the media reported.

The epicentre of the earthquake on Sunday was 32 km southwest of the Halabja area near the Iranian border at the depth of 33.9 km, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS), Xinhua news agency reported.

The occurred at a depth of 33.9 km and tremors were also felt in Turkey, Israel and Kuwait, BBC reported.

Over 20 Iranian villages in the area have been damaged and the power and water flow have been disrupted.

Iranian emergency teams have rushed to the quake-hit region and helicopters are delivering basic need to people affected by the quake.

At least 61 people were killed and 300 injured in western Iran, the state media said, according to BBC. The toll is likely to rise.

The earthquake sparked panic, with residents fleeing their homes for the streets.

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

Many of the victims were in the town of Sarpol-e Zahab, about 15 km from the border, Iran’s emergency services chief, Pir Hossein Koolivand, said, according to Iranian state television channel IRINN.

Damage was reported in at least eight villages, the head of Iran’s Red Crescent Organisation, Morteza Salim, told the channel.

“Some other villages have suffered power cuts and their telecommunications system has also been disturbed,” he said.

In Iraq, the earthquake was felt in many provinces in the north and central regions, including the capital Baghdad, witnesses said.

Most casualties occurred in the town of Darbandikhan, around 35 km from the city of Sulaimaniyah, Xinhua reported.

The casualties in Darbandikhan could rise as some houses have collapsed and it is not clear yet whether there were people buried under the debris, Nasih Mala Hassan, Mayor of Darbandikhan, was quoted as saying.

Iraqi Minister of Water Resources warned the people down the Darbandikhan Dam to be in highest alert as the condition of the dam is not clear.

In Erbil, the capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region, dozens of people were taken to hospitals. Some were treated from injuries and others fainted or shocked.

Many of the injured in Erbil were students who live in dormitories, the health department was quoted as saying.

Saad Maan, spokesman of the Iraqi Interior Ministry, told reporters that cracks appeared in some buildings in central Baghdad, while an old house was seriously damaged.

Earthquake in Iran-Iraq border, tremors felt in UAE

Dubai: Several UAE residents took to social media late Sunday night saying that they have felt some tremors corresponding to an earthquake.

According to multiple users on Twitter, they felt the ground trembling for a brief period and are asking if others have also experienced it. Users from several parts of the country say that the tremors were felt not only in Dubai, but also in the Reem Island district of Abu Dhabi.

“I was having dinner when I felt the ground shake a bit,” a Dubai resident told KT. “My wife felt it too. We rushed down as soon as we felt the tremors,” he added.

“We felt a minor quake,” added a resident of Reem Island, Abu Dhabi.

‘I felt a minor earthquake in my building in Deira,’ a KT reader said. Another resident also said that the tremors were felt in Discovery Gardens.

Sharjah residents also felt the tremors. KT reader Ashraq said that he felt the earthquake in the Al Nahda area; reader Samreena also chimed in and confirmed that she felt the tremors in the emirate.

The tremors can be attributed to a magnitude 7.6 earthquake was recorded along the Iran and Iraq border. The National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) posted an alert of the quake.

Iranian state TV says a 7.2-magnitude earthquake has jolted the region near the border between Iran and Iraq.

The U.S. Geological Survey confirmed the quake on its website, placing its epicenter at around 32km (19 miles) outside the Iraqi city of Halabja, and issuing an “orange” alert for “shaking-related fatalities and economic losses.” There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Iranian provinces in the northwestern, western and central areas of the country were impacted.

Iranian social media was abuzz with area people evacuating their homes.

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