Tue, Nov 14, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Powerful quake on Iran-Iraq border kills over 350

AP, TEHRAN

A rescue worker and a dog search debris for survivors yesterday in Sarpol-e-Zahab, Iran, in a photograph provided by the Iranian Students News Agency.

Photo: AP

A magnitude 7.3 earthquake that struck the Iraq-Iran border region killed more than 350 people across both nations, sent people fleeing their homes and was felt as far away as the Mediterranean coast, authorities said yesterday.

Iran’s western Kermanshah Province bore the brunt of the temblor, with Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency reporting the quake killed 348 people in the country and injured 6,603.

The area is a rural, mountainous region where residents rely mainly on farming to make a living.

In Iraq, the earthquake killed at least seven people and injured 535, all in the nation’s northern, semi-autonomous Kurdish region, the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior said.

The quake was centered 31km outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja, according to measurements from the US Geological Survey.

It struck 23.2km below the surface, a shallow depth that can have broad damage.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei offered his condolences and urged rescuers and all government agencies to do all they could to help those affected, state media reported.

The semi-official Iranian Labour News Agency said at least 14 provinces in Iran had been affected by the earthquake.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi issued a directive for his nation’s civil defense teams and “related institutions” to respond to the natural disaster.

Iraqi seismologist Abdul-Karim Abdullah Taqi, who runs the earthquake monitoring group at the state-run Meteorological Department, said the main reason for the lower casualty figure in Iraq was the angle and the direction of the fault line in the quake, as well as the nature of the Iraqi geological formations that could better absorb the shocks.

However, it did visible damage to the dam at Darbandikhan, which holds back the Diyala River.

A Turkish military cargo plane arrived in Iraq as the official Anadolu Agency reported multiple dispatches by Turkey’s disaster agency. Ankara said it would also help Iran if Tehran requests assistance.

Iran sits on many major fault lines and is prone to near-daily quakes. In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people.

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