More than 150 killed in earthquake along Iraq-Iran border

Destroyed buildings in the aftermath of the quake PHOTO COURTESY

More than 150 people have been confirmed dead after an earthquake struck parts of Iraq and Iran on Sunday.

According to Iranian state television more than 200 people are unaccounted for while over 1600 were injured in the 7.3 magnitude quake.

Reuters reported that electricity had been cutoff in major cities near where the quake occurred with the fear of an aftershock leaving thousands of people stranded in the streets in cold weather.

A health minister from the Kurdish region of Iraq Rekawt Hama Rasheed told Reuters that in one of the cities of Darbandikhan, the situation was very critical as the quake had destroyed power transmission to the main hospital and patients were being transported to the city of Sulaimaniyah 67 kilometers away.

“I was sitting with my kids having dinner and suddenly the building was just dancing in the air,I thought at first that it was a huge bomb. But then I heard everyone around me screaming: ‘Earthquake!’”Majid Ameer a resident of the Iraq capital Baghdad told the agency.

In neighboring Iran  government officials announced 3 days of national mourning in the border town of Kermanshah which was one of the hardest hit by the quake with 97 of the victims coming from the area.

Turkish and Israeli media reported that the quake was also felt in parts of Israel and Turkey as well.
In 2003 , a 6.6 magnitude quake killed more than 26,000 people in Iran.