Powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake jolts Iran-Iraq border

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - A massive earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale has rattled west of Iran along the country's border with Iraq, initial reports said a number of villages were damaged. Media reports said several people have also lost their lives in Iran's western areas.

According to the Seismological Center of the Institute of Geophysics of Tehran University, the epicenter of the quake was about 11 km deep.

It struck the area of Azgaleh in Kermanshah province at around 21:48 local time on Sunday.

The closest cities in the area are Tazeabad, 25km and Bayangan, 37km away from the epicenter and the provincial capital city of Kermanshah is 122 km away.

Initial reports said a number of villages have been damaged and a number of people have lost their lives in western town of Qasr-e Shirin.

Iranian state television said the quake which have also strong aftershocks, damaged 8 villages and cut electricity in a number of towns and villages near the quake-hit areas.

The earthquake has also been felt by Turkey, Armenia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, and Iran’s western, southwestern and northwestern and also central provinces, including the capital, Tehran.

Other media reports quoted Faramarz Akbari, the governor of Qasr-e Shirin as saying that six people had died and scores more injured.

Esmail Najar, the head of Iran's National Disaster Management Organization said more injured people might be buried under the rubble in Qasr-e Shirin.

The quake-hit area is also around 200km northeast of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

Iran is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, being crossed by several major fault lines that cover at least 90% of the country. As a result, earthquakes in Iran occur often and are destructive.

The deadliest quake in Iran's modern history happened in June 1990. It destroyed the northern cities of Rudbar, Manjil, and Lushan, along with hundreds of villages, killing an estimated 37,000 people.

Bam in the country’s southeastern province of Kerman witnessed a strong quake in December 2003 which killed 31,000 people.


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