• Live
    • Audio Only
  • google plus
  • facebook
  • twitter
News > World

7.3 Magnitude Iraq-Iran Quake Claims at Least 450 Lives, Injures Thousands

  • Nearly 6,000 people have been injured.

    Nearly 6,000 people have been injured. | Photo: AFP

Published 13 November 2017

A number of aftershocks have been felt, with one reaching a magnitude of 4.9.

An earthquake of 7.3 magnitude hit Iraq near the Iranian border, striking 32 kilometers southwest of the city of Halabjah at 9:18 p.m. local time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Magnitude 6.5 Earthquake Rocks Pacific Coast of Costa Rica

At least 450 people have been killed and 7,000 injured in the earthquake, according to the IRNA Iranian state news agency. Local authorities expect the number to rise as rescue teams continue to assist victims.

Approximately 70,000 people need shelter, a BBC report stated citing an Iranian aid agency. "The situation there is very critical," Kurdish Health Minister Rekawt Hama Rasheed told Reuters, while local TV said the main hospital was damaged.

The dam which encloses the Diyala River in Iraq was damaged, dam director Rahman Hani said, adding that the structure is “the strongest built in the last 100 years” but that there is now “very clear damage to the top of the dam” as well as “horizontal and vertical cracks on the road and in the body of the dam.”

The Kermanshah province in Iran suffered the worse damage with over 236 fatalities in Sarpol-e Zahab, 10 miles from the Iraqi border. The district announced three days of mourning.

Officials meeting to discuss the earthquake. Photo: Press TV

“There are still people under the rubble. We hope the number of dead and injured won’t rise too much, but it will rise,” said Kermanshah’s Deputy Governor Mojtaba Nikkerdar.

“Sarpol-e Zahab has only one hospital, which was demolished in this incident. All patients and hospital staff have been buried beneath the rubble, so it cannot offer any service,” the local MP, Farhad Tajari, who lost 15 family members in the earthquake.

Authorities called an emergency meeting to discuss the disaster.

The quake could be felt throughout the Middle East from Lebanon to Kuwait, with the epicenter around 200 kilometers northeast of Baghdad, at a depth of 33 kilometers.

An Iraqi meteorological official initially put the magnitude of the tremor at 6.5, according to preliminary information. The exact number of injuries is still be determined, but both the Ministry of Health and the Interior Ministry report at least 300 wounded and seven dead.


Iraqi media indicated that the quake has damaged at least eight villages and has cut electricity to thousands of people.

"I was sitting with my kids having dinner and suddenly the building was just dancing in the air," Majida Ameer told Reuters. "I thought at first that it was a huge bomb. But then I heard everyone around me screaming: 'Earthquake!'"

A number of aftershocks have been felt, with one reaching a magnitude of 4.9.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei encouraged government agencies to continue rescue efforts while offering condolences to families of the victims.

Post with no comments.