7.3-magnitude quake on Iran-Iraq border kills 300, injures 2,500

BYElizabeth Elizalde
Updated: Monday, November 13, 2017, 4:24 AM
Rescue personnel search the rubble following a 7.2-magnitude earthquake at Sarpol-e Zahab in Iran's Kermanshah province on Sunday.

More than 300 people were killed and thousands more injured when a massive earthquake shook Iran and brought several buildings toppling to the ground Sunday, officials said.

The U.S. Geological Survey recorded the shallow 7.3-magnitude tremor around 9:30 p.m. local time and tracked its epicenter to 20 miles outside the Iraqi city of Halabja, near the Iranian border.

The death toll continued to rise Monday morning, with the majority of the 328 deaths occurring in the town of Sarpol-e-Zahab in Iran’s Kermanshah province.

At least 2,500 were injured.

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Local reports said rescuers worked through the night to search collapsed buildings and homes made of earthen stone in several villages. Operations would be accelerated during the day Monday.

A car lays smashed by debris from the earthquake in Sarpol-e-Zahab, in western Iran, on Monday.

(Pouria Pakizeh/AP)

The quake rumbled all the way to Baghdad in Iraq, where residents bolted to the streets for safety.

“I was sitting with my kids having dinner and suddenly the building was just dancing in the air,” Majida Ameer told Reuters after fleeing her home with her three children.

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

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Kurdish health officials reported four deaths and 50 injuries in the neighboring country.

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake has been reported near the city of Halabja, Iraq.


Water and electricity lines were cut off in some villages and cities in Iran’s Kermanshah Province, while residents stood in the streets for fear of aftershocks, an official told state-run media.

Several landslides were reported in Iran.

Later Sunday, a magnitude 6.5 quake hit the coast of Costa Rica and shook its capital, San José. The national Public Safety Ministry reported two serious injuries in the 8:30 p.m. temblor.  

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With News Wire Services

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