Powerful natural disaster rocks Iran-Iraq border; several villages damaged, casualties reported

Northern Iraq rocked by 7.2 magnitude earthquake

The epicentre of the natural disaster on Sunday was 32 km southwest of the Halabja area near the Iranian border at the depth of 33.9 km, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS), Xinhua news agency reported.

It initially said the quake was of a magnitude 7.2, before revising it to 7.3.

Tremors could be felt as far away as in the UAE after a 7.3 magnitude quake struck Northern Iraq.

State television had previously reported six dead in Qasr-e Shirin, close to the Iraqi border, around 40 kilometres southwest of Azgaleh. The University of Tehran has reported at least four aftershocks, the biggest of which was magnitude-4.6.

Many residents in Baghdad rushed out of houses and tall buildings in panic.

There was no immediate information on damages or casualties in Israel or elsewhere.

In the province of Sulaimaniyah, located in Iraq's Kurdistan region, residents ran out onto the streets at the time of the quake and some minor property damage was recorded. At least eight villages have been damaged. "Electricity has been cut in some villages and rescue teams have been dispatched to those areas", the report said.

A TASS correspondent reported from Kuwait City that earth tremors had been felt in that city.

The quake was even felt in the capital, Tehran, residents reported on social media.

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