Strong earthquake hits Iraq and Iran, killing more than 300

Strong earthquake hits Iraq and Iran, killing more than 300


The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake measured magnitude 7.3. An Iraqi meteorology official put its magnitude at 6.5, with the epicenter in Penjwin in Sulaimaniyah province in the Kurdistan region, close to the main border crossing with Iran.

Tempers frayed in the quake-hit area as the search went on for survivors amid the t twisted rubble of collapsed buildings. State TV aired footage of disfigured buildings, vehicles under rubble and wounded people wrapped in blankets.

“We need a shelter … ” a middle-aged man in Sarpol-e Zahab told state TV. “Where is the aid? Where is the help?” His family could not spend another night outside in cold weather, he said.

Kurdish health officials said at least six people were killed in Iraq and at least 68 injured. Iraq’s health and local officials said the worst-hit area was Darbandikham district, near the border with Iran, where at least 10 houses had collapsed and the district’s only hospital was severely damaged.

“The situation there is very critical,” Kurdish Health Minister Rekawt Hama Rasheed told Reuters.

The district’s main hospital was severely damaged and had no power, Rasheed said, so the injured were taken to Sulaimaniyah for treatment. Homes and buildings had extensive structural damage, he said.

The quake was felt as far south as Baghdad, where many residents rushed from their houses and tall buildings when tremors shook the Iraqi capital.

“I was sitting with my kids having dinner and suddenly the building was just dancing in the air,” said Majida Ameer, who ran out of her building in the capital’s Salihiya district with her three children.

“I thought at first that it was a huge bomb. But then I heard everyone around me screaming: ‘Earthquake!”‘

Similar scenes unfolded in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region, and across other cities in northern Iraq, close to the quake’s epicentre.

Iraq’s meteorology center advised people to stay away from buildings and not to use elevators in case of aftershocks.



Source : cnbc.com

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