Death toll in Iran-Iraq border quake rises to 207

EHRAN — At least 207 people died in a huge 7.3 magnitude earthquake that hit the Iran-Iraq border area on Sunday, Tasnim news agency reported on Monday.

The quake which centered at 103 km southeast of the city of Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, also injured over 1800 people, the report said.

The tremor was felt in several Iranian provinces bordering Iraq including the capital, Tehran.

Over 20 Iranian villages in Iran’s Kermanshah province have been damaged and power and water flows disrupted.

More than 30 Iranian emergency teams have been dispatched to the quake-hit region and helicopters are delivering basic needs.

There are also strong aftershocks in the area, according to Iranian state television.

Local media’s reports on the earthquake’s magnitude varied from 4.5 to 7.3. The earthquake has also been felt in Turkey, Armenia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

Esmail Najar, the head of Iran’s National Disaster Management Organization said more injured people might be buried under the rubble in Qasr-e Shirin county in Kermanshah province.

Iran is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, being crossed by several major fault lines that cover at least 90 percent of the country. As a result, destructive earthquakes in Iran occur constantly.

The deadliest quake in Iran’s modern history happened in June 1990. It destroyed the northern cities of Rudbar, Manjil, and Lushan, along with hundreds of villages, killing an estimated 37,000 people.

An earthquake in the southeastern city of Bam in December 2003 killed 26,000 people.