Canada News Agency

Magnitude 7.3 earthquake hits Iraq-Iran border area


A damaged storefront in Halabja, Iraq, near the epicentre of the quake.
 
At least 129 people have been killed in western Iran's Kermanshah province after a strong 7.3-magnitude earthquake rattled the northern border region between Iran and Iraq.
 
Four more have been reported dead in Iraq. The death toll is likely to rise.
 
The earthquake sparked panic, with residents rushing from their homes for the streets.
 
Mosques in the Iraqi capital Baghdad have been saying prayers through loudspeakers.
 
Many of the victims were in the town of Sarpol-e Zahab, about 15km (10 miles) from the border, Iran's emergency services chief, Pir Hossein Koolivand, said, according to Iranian state television channel IRINN.
 
Damage was reported in at least eight villages and rescue teams were said to be having difficulty getting through to the worst hit areas due to landslides.
 
The quake hit 19 miles (30km) southwest of Halabja, near the northeastern border with Iran, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.
 
The occurred at a depth of 33.9 km (21 miles), and tremors were felt in Turkey, Israel and Kuwait.