SAN FRANCISCO, November 13, (THEWILL) – Over 200 people have been killed and hundreds more injured in a devastating 7.3 magnitude earthquake that rocked Iranian and Iraqi border on Sunday night,
The quake hit 30 kilometres (19 miles) southwest of Halabja in Iraqi Kurdistan at around 9.20 pm (1820 GMT) on Sunday, when many people would have been at home.
According to officials, the quake triggered landslides that hindered rescue efforts.
Iran, on Monday, gave a provisional toll of more than 200 dead, while only six others were reported killed on the Iraq side of the border.
“There are 207 dead and around 1,700 injured,” all in Iran’s province of Kermanshah, Behnam Saidi, the deputy head of the Iranian government’s crisis unit set up to handle the response to the quake, told state television.
Mojtaba Nikkerdar, the deputy governor of Kermanshah, said authorities there were “in the process of setting up three emergency relief camps.”
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 due to the landslides.”
The official IRNA news agency said 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 the northern province of Sulaimaniyah and injured around 150.
Footage showed people fleeing a building in Sulaimaniyah, as windows shattered at the moment the quake struck, while images from the nearby town of Darbandikhan showed that major walls and concrete structures had collapsed.
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.
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
while residents were reported to have fled their homes in the town of Diyarbakir.