The number of casualties following a powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake near the Iran-Iraq border is unconfirmed. Tremors were reported in Israel.
By: AP and World Israel News Staff
Iranian state TV says a 7.2-magnitude earthquake has jolted the region near the border between Iran and Iraq. The number of casualties varies according to various reports, with Sky News saying at least 10 were killed.
Faramarz Akbari, Ghasr-e Shirin’s governor, said that six people had died and scores more injured, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.
The U.S. Geological Survey confirmed the quake on its website, placing its epicenter at around 32km (19 miles) outside the Iraqi city of Halabja, and issuing an “orange” alert for “shaking-related fatalities and economic losses.”
The semi-official Iranian ILNA news agency reported that at least 14 provinces had been impacted by the earthquake.
Iranian social media was abuzz with posts of people evacuating their homes, especially from the cities of Ghasr-e Shirin (near Iraqi border) and Kermanshah.
Esmail Najar, head of Iran’s National Disaster Management Organization, said “some injured people might be buried under the rubble in Ghasr-e Shirin”.
Iran is prone to near daily quakes as it sits on many major fault lines. In 2003, a 6.6 magnitude flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people.
The impact was felt in cities across the Middle East, including Israel, where residents along the coast said they felt the tremors.