Powerful earthquake on Iran-Iraq border kills more than 400


TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake near the Iraq-Iran border killed more than 400 people across both countries, sent residents fleeing their homes into the night and was felt as far away as the Mediterranean coast, authorities said today.

Iran's western Kermanshah province bore the brunt of the temblor Sunday night, with authorities saying the quake killed 407 people in the country and injured 6,700. Kermanshah is a rural, mountainous region where residents rely mainly on farming.

In Iraq, the earthquake killed at least seven people and injured 535, all in the country's northern Kurdish region, according to Iraq's Interior Ministry.

The quake was centered 19 miles outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja, according to the most recent measurements from the U.S. Geological Survey. It struck at 9:48 p.m. Iran time, just as people began retiring for the night.

It could be felt on the Mediterranean coast, some 660 miles (1,000 kilometers) away.

The earthquake struck 23.2 kilometers (14.4 miles) below the surface, a shallow depth that can amplify damage. Magnitude 7 earthquakes can be highly destructive.

Iranian social media and news agencies showed images and videos of people fleeing their homes. More than 100 aftershocks followed.

The quake's worst damage appeared to be in the town of Sarpol-e-Zahab in Kermanshah province, which sits in the Zagros Mountains that divide Iran and Iraq.

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