7.3 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Iraq, Iran

Iraqi Family Village Receives Visit From U.S. Soldiers Image Credit: DVIDSHUB (Flickr) / Creative Commons

On Sunday in Iraq, a massive earthquake measuring 7.3 in magnitude hit the northern part of the country near Halibia, which is a city located in the northeastern part of Iraq near the Iran border.

News outlets report deaths in both Iraq in Iran had occurred, and the number of dead was expected to rise as recovery operations continue in the country. CNN now reports a total of 300 dead with at least 4,000 people injured.

A powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake Sunday in the Iraqi city of Halabja, close to the Iraq-Iran border, killed scores of people in Iran, Iranian officials said.

State-run Press TV reported at least 130 people were killed in Iran, citing the deputy governor of Kermanshah province, Mojtaba Nikkerdar. Citing the head of Iran’s emergency services, Iran’s semi-official news agency Fars News said at least 1,000 people were injured in the quake.

The powerful earthquake reverberated in the form of tremors through the Iraqi city of Baghdad, which is located in the center of the country. Damage has been reported in several villages, which have seen major telecommunication outages. The region where the quake struck is located along several major fault lines in Iran, and while the country has quakes daily, this is the deadliest one in recent history. In fact, in 2003 a 6.6 magnitude quake left 26,000 dead.

In 2005 a 6.4 magnitude earthquake rocked the city of Zarand in the southeastern province of Kerman, killing at least 400 people, and in 2012 a pair of earthquakes jolted northwest Iran, killing at least 300 people.

Kurdistan Regional Government Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani tweeted, “A real earthquake has just added to the political, security, humanitarian and economic earthquakes to have hit Kurdistan & Iraq.”