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Iran-Iraq earthquake: Hundreds killed as border region hit

Iran-Iraq earthquake: Hundreds killed as border region hit thumbnail

A 7.3-magnitude earthquake has shaken the northern border region between Iran and Iraq, killing at least 348 people and injuring thousands more.

One Iranian aid agency said 70,000 people needed shelter after the quake, one of the largest this year.

The majority of those who died were in Iran’s western Kermanshah province. Nearly 5,660 were said to be injured.

Seven people died in Iraq, where people fled into the streets in the capital, Baghdad.

“I was sitting with my kids having dinner and suddenly the building was just dancing in the air,” a Baghdad mother-of-three, Majida Ameer, told Reuters news agency.

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

In the latest updates from Iran:

  • State news agency Irna quoted an emergency official as saying 5,346 people were injured in Iran alone
  • Most of the victims were in the town of Sarpol-e Zahab, about 15km (10 miles) from the border, emergency services chief Pir Hossein Koolivand said
  • The town’s main hospital was severely damaged, leaving it struggling to treat hundreds of wounded, state TV reported
  • A woman and her baby were pulled alive from rubble in the town, Iranian media said.

Many homes in the predominantly Kurdish mountainous area are made of mud bricks. As a result, they are at risk of collapse during a significant earthquake like the one that struck on Sunday.

Rescue teams were being hampered by landslides, Mr Koolivand said.

Media captionA Kurdish TV channel was live on air during the earthquake

The quake hit at 21:18 local time (18:18 GMT) about 30km southwest of Halabja, near the northeastern border with Iran, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

About 1.8 million people live within 100km (60 miles) of the epicentre, the UN estimates.

On the Iraqi side, the most extensive damage was in the town of Darbandikhan in the Kurdistan Region.

“The situation there is very critical,” Kurdish Health Minister Rekawt Hama Rasheed told Reuters.

The Iraqi ministry of health said 321 people had been wounded in the Iraqi Kurdistan region, where Turkey has already delivered aid.

The BBC’s Rami Ruhayem, in the regional capital Irbil, said shaking there had lasted for more than a minute.

“For a few seconds at first it was barely detectable, I wasn’t sure whether it was a minor tremor or just my imagination,” he said. “But soon enough it was unmistakable as the building started swaying from side to side.”

Image copyright EPA
Image caption This huge rock fell from a mountain in Darbandikhan, Iran

The earthquake struck at a relatively shallow depth of 23.2 km, and tremors were felt in Turkey, Israel and Kuwait.

In 2003, a 6.6-magnitude quake destroyed the historic city of Bam in south-east Iran, killing 26,000 people.

Sunday’s quake is the deadliest to hit Iran since 2012. But it is only the sixth earthquake of magnitude-7.0 or more in 2017 – there were 16 last year and 19 the year before.

Why is Iran prone to earthquakes?

Analysis by Jonathan Amos, BBC Science Correspondent

Iran is one of those regions of the world that is all too familiar with quakes, and has experienced some very big tremors in the past.

In general terms, the big driver here is the clash between the Arabia and Eurasia tectonic plates. The former is pushing north by a couple centimetres a year.

In the south-east of the country, the Arabia plate is actually pushing under the Eurasia plate, but in the northwest these great slabs rub directly against each other. The Zagros mountains are a result of all this compression.

Early reports indicate the quake occurred on a thrust fault. This means the crust on one side of the break in the rocks is moved vertically up and over the other side – which fits exactly with this general picture.

Geological agencies now produce immediate bulletins on the likely expected casualties. This modelling work is based on factors such as the size of the quake, population density and what is known about local construction methods. It’s inexact work, but the first bulletins suggested this event could produce many hundreds of deaths and perhaps thousands of injured individuals.


15 Comments on "Iran-Iraq earthquake: Hundreds killed as border region hit"

  1. makati1 on Mon, 13th Nov 2017 5:54 am 

    Seven+ quakes seem to be increasing. The planet is adjusting to the new balance of water in the oceans and the lower weight of ice on some tectonic plates. I suspect that volcanic eruption will also increase and maybe the ‘Big One’ in Cali will let lose. It is overdue.

  2. Davy on Mon, 13th Nov 2017 6:09 am 

    Mad kat, what does it feel like up in that 27th floor of that high rise condo with a 6.3 earthquake?

    “6.3-magnitude earthquake hits Luzon”

    “Recent Earthquakes Near Philippines”

    “Tsunami & Earthquake Philippines”

    Tsunami and earthquakes can happen anytime around the Pacific Ring of Fire – from California up and around Alaska down through Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and Indonesia. The Philippines is no stranger to earthquakes – the Philippine archipelago was largely created by the tectonic squabble between the Eurasian and Pacific plates, forming the Philippine Plate as a distinct entity.

  3. Go Speed Racer on Mon, 13th Nov 2017 12:52 pm 

    Iraq Iran is Shake and Bake

  4. Dredd on Mon, 13th Nov 2017 2:42 pm 

    “The powerful magnitude 7.3 earthquake that struck the Iraq-Iran borer area on Sunday night has also damaged the dam holding back the Diyala River in Iraq.

    The dam’s director, Rahman Hani, has shown an Associated Press crew the damage to the dam, near the town of Darbandikhan in Iraq’s Sulaimaniyah province.

    Hani says the dam, completed in 1961, is “the strongest built in the last one hundred years” but that there is now “very clear damage to the top of the dam.”

    He says there are both “horizontal and vertical cracks on the road and in the body of the dam” and that parts of the dam have sunk lower.

    It wasn’t immediately clear how the damage would impact power production. The last time the dam was renovated was in 2013.”

    Read more here:

  5. GregT on Mon, 13th Nov 2017 3:02 pm 


    Do you really live in a high-rise condo on the 27th floor? And did you just experience a 6.3 magnitude earthquake?

    Or simply more delusions from Big Boy?

  6. makati1 on Mon, 13th Nov 2017 5:10 pm 

    Greg, Yes, I currently live on the 27th floor of a condo tower. And, yes, there was a quake about that large recently. One of several in the last 10 years that I have been here. I don’t even feel them if they are less than a 4. The last one made the pictures on the wall sway a bit. lol

    The building code requires construction to endure at least a 7 on the scale. As the towers are owned by the large banks, they DO follow the code closely, or exceed it. There are many building here that are hundreds of years old that are still in use.

    Quakes, typhoons, and even volcanic eruptions are frequent in the Ps. The ‘natives’ are used to them. This culture goes back thousands of years. They are used to dealing with Mother Nature. Deaths are sad, but that too is part of life.

  7. GregT on Mon, 13th Nov 2017 5:14 pm 

    “Yes, I currently live on the 27th floor of a condo tower. And, yes, there was a quake about that large recently.”

    Thanks for clearing that up Mak. It’s difficult to tell fact from fiction with the delusioanlist. He has such an active little imagination.

  8. makati1 on Mon, 13th Nov 2017 5:21 pm 

    BTW: A magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck 18 km S 36° W of Nasugbu, Batangas on August 11, 2017 at 1:28 pm at a depth of 177 km.

    Nasugbu is about 100 miles south of Manila along the coast of the South China Sea.

    That is the most recent one near Manila.

  9. makati1 on Mon, 13th Nov 2017 5:31 pm 

    Greg, yes, Davy has made me out to be a child molester, a senile old man, and many other fictional characters over the years. He and Muddymind make a good pair. Both have similar mental problems. Maybe they could room together in a psycho ward? ^_^

    I like to post negative articles about the US just to poke a ‘stick’ in their cages. If I post something about myself, it is true. I don’t care what anyone thinks, especially our board, or is it ‘bored’, retards. I don’t have to remember lies if I don’t tell any. And, at my 73 years, I don’t give a damn what anyone thinks. That is real freedom.

  10. makati1 on Mon, 13th Nov 2017 5:42 pm 

    Earthquakes are nothing compared to the death and destruction done by greedy Americans.

    “If it were just Federal Reserve Notes that were stolen that would be one thing, but the fact of the matter is we have happily handed over our freedom, individual sovereignty and our national identity. Currently, as a people and as a nation, we are completely lost. …

    For those that remember, Donald Rumsfeld announced on 9/10, you know the day before 9/11, that the Pentagon, the Pentagon that Rumsfeld had been overseeing for years, could not account for $2.3 TRILLION dollars – then you know he and the Pentagon accountants are nothing more than thieves. …

    The un-Constitutional invasions of Libya, drone strikes on Yemen and the absolute destruction of Iraq have cost us a lot more than trillions of dollars. If we just focus on the spending for a minute we see that our country should be the shining city on the hill but instead we are the indebted cesspool of corruption and war criminals. …

    The United States military has spent more than $5.6 trillion on conflicts since 2001, more than three times the Pentagon’s actual estimate, according to a new study….”

    This rabid dog called “America” needs to be put down.

  11. Davy on Mon, 13th Nov 2017 7:58 pm 

    mad kat, it is so sweet to see how you and widdle get along. It is hard going it alone in this tough world. Nice to have widdle walk you across the street.LOL

  12. MASTERMIND on Mon, 13th Nov 2017 8:24 pm 


    Madkat is totally delusional..Once the lights go out in his condo..That’s it..He won’t go outside and venture into the wild at his age…He would end up in a cannibal pot.

  13. GregT on Mon, 13th Nov 2017 9:45 pm 

    “It is hard going it alone in this tough world.”

    Goats aren’t exactly what most would consider to be normal ‘companionship’, but to each his own.

  14. makati1 on Mon, 13th Nov 2017 10:35 pm 

    LOL good one Greg. But that is all some can find when they have social problems. And we both know that he has some serious ones.

  15. Anonymous on Mon, 13th Nov 2017 10:59 pm 

    1. Seems like very little oil info from this. Yes a tragedy happened in two oil producing countries. But no info on how it affects production.

    2. Just out of curiosity, I wonder if there is any relation of the tectonic situation and the oil situation. Like do the faults make it harder to get the oil? Easier? How does it compare to Bakersfield crude situation?

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