At least 67 people dead in Iran-Iraq earthquake

At least 67 people have been killed after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck near the border between Iran and Iraq.

The earthquake was centred about 19 miles outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja at about 6.20pm UK time.

It was just 15 miles deep and was felt for about 20 seconds in Baghdad.

Local journalists said the shaking was felt for longer in other regions and it was also felt in parts of Turkey and in Kuwait.

It triggered landslides in the mountainous region along the Iran-Iraq border, also destroying buildings, shattering windows and sending people running for safety.

Six people died and 200 were injured in Iraq's Sulaymaniyah province and Khanaqin city.

Image:A damaged shop in Halabja, Iraq, where the quake was centred. Pic: Osama Golpy/Rudaw/Reuters

In Iran, head of the emergency medical services Pirhossein Koulivand said at least 61 people had been killed and 300 injured.

He said it was "difficult to send rescue teams to the villages because the roads have been cut off – there have been landslides".

There have also been a number of aftershocks felt.

Nevertheless, dozens of rescue teams are searching for survivors in larger towns.

The earthquake was centred near Halabja
Image:The earthquake was centred about 19 miles from Halabja

At least three emergency relief camps are being set up in Iran's Kermanshah province.

Kermanshah province, with a population of around two million, appears to have been worst hit, especially the towns of Qasr-e Shirin and Azgaleh.

The region experiences regular earthquakes and Sunday night's struck along a 930-mile fault line between the Arabian and Eurasian tectonic plates, which runs through western Iran and into Iraq's north east.

One of the region's worst quakes struck Bam in Iran in 2003 and killed at least 31,000 people. There have been two major quake since then – in 2005 more than 600 were killed and in 2012 around 300 died.


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