Powerful quake rocks Iran-Iraq border; several villages damaged, casualties reported

Violet Powell
November 13, 2017

An natural disaster of magnitude 7.2 has hit the border region between Iran and Iraq, the US Geological Survey (USGS) says.

On its website, the USGS placed the quake's epicenter at about 19 miles south-southwest of the Iraqi city of Halabja.

Eight villages were reportedly damaged in Iran and at least six people were killed with many others injured in the border town of Qasri Shirin in Iran, Iranian state TV said.

Like most quakes that strike the region, this one was shallow, said Don Blakeman, a geophysicist with the USGS's National Earthquake Information Center.

It wasn't immediately clear if there were casualties or how much damage the temblor caused. "I thought at first that it was a huge bomb".

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The quake struck in northeast Iraq - near the border with Iran. But then I heard everyone around me screaming "Earthquake!"'.

The most extensive damage was in the town of Darbandikhan, 75 kilometers (47 miles) east of the city of Sulaimaniyah, and more than 30 people were injured in the town.

Iraq's Meteorological Organization issued a warning on state TV urging people to stay away from buildings and to avoid from using elevators, CNN reported.

Local people said in media reports and on Twitter they had felt several aftershocks.

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