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Last Updated Nov 12, 2017 5:30 PM EST
TEHRAN, Iran — A 7.2-magnitude earthquake jolted the region between Iran and Iraq on Sunday, killing at least 30 people and injuring 200 others, an Iranian official said.
Deputy Gov. Mojtaba Nikkerdar of Iran’s Kermanshah province told state television exact numbers would not be available for hours.
The U.S. Geological Survey confirmed the quake on its website, placing its epicenter around 19 miles, or 31 kilometers, outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja and issuing an “orange” alert for “shaking-related fatalities and economic losses.”
Pirhossein Koulivand, head of Iran’s emergency medical services, told a local television station that the earthquake led to a power outage in the country’s western cities of Mehran and Ilam.
He also said 35 rescue teams were providing assistance.
“Damage has been reported in at least eight villages,” Morteza Salim, the chief of Iran’s Red Crescent Organisation, told IRINN. “Some other villages have suffered power cuts and their telecommunications system has also been disturbed.”
Iranian social media was abuzz Sunday night with posts of people evacuating their homes, particularly in Kermanshah and Ghasr-e Shirin, where injured people were thought to be buried under the rubble.
The semi-official Iranian ILNA news agency reported that at least 14 provinces were affected by the earthquake.
Iran sits on many major fault lines and is prone to near-daily quakes. In 2003, a 6.6 magnitude flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people.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.
USGS National Earthquake Information Center
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