New Delhi, Nov 13: The death toll in the 7.3 magnitude earthquake near the Iraq-Iran border has risen to over 400, killing people across both countries on Monday. The temblor left 6,603 persons injured, sent residents fleeing their homes into the night and was felt as far away as the Mediterranean coast.
Local officials said the toll was likely to rise as search and rescue teams reached remote areas. Iran’s western Kermanshah province, which is a rural, mountainous region where residents rely mainly on farming bore the brunt of the temblor Sunday night. The quake killed 348 people in the country and injured 6,603, authorities said. A three-day mourning has been announced in Kermanshah.
As per Iraq’s Interior Ministry, the earthquake killed at least seven people and injured 535 in the northern Kurdish region
The quake was centered 31 kilometers outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja. It struck at 9:48 p.m. Iran time.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei offered his condolences this morning and urged rescuers and all government agencies to do all they could to help those affected, state media reported.
The semi-official ILNA news agency said at least 14 provinces in Iran had been affected by the earthquake.
Officials announced that schools in Kermanshah and Ilam provinces would be closed today because of the temblor.
Iranian state TV also said Iraqi officials reported that at least six people dead inside Iraq, along with more than 50 people injured in Sulaymaniyah province and about 150 in the town of Khanaquin.
Iran sits on many major fault lines and is prone to near-daily quakes. In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people.
The last major casualty earthquake in Iran struck in East Azerbaijan province in August 2012, killing over 300 people.
(With inputs from Agencies)