7.2 magnitude earthquake, kills at least 61 in Iran
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) A 7.2-magnitude earthquake jolted the region between Iran and Iraq on Sunday, killing at least 61 people and injuring more than 300 others.
The U.S. Geological Survey confirmed the quake on its website, placing its epicenter around 19 miles (31 kilometers) outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja and issuing an “orange” alert for “shaking-related fatalities and economic losses.”
Faramarz Akbari, a local official in the Iranian border city of Ghasr-e Shirin, reported the death toll to Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency.
Pirhossein Koulivand, head of Iran’s emergency medical services, told a local television station that the earthquake led to a power outage in the country’s western cities of Mehran and Ilam.
He also said 35 rescue teams were providing assistance.
Iranian social media was abuzz Sunday night with posts of people evacuating their homes, particularly in Kermanshah and Ghasr-e Shirin, where injured people were thought to be buried under the rubble.
The semi-official Iranian ILNA news agency reported that at least 14 provinces had been impacted by the earthquake.
Iran sits on many major fault lines and is prone to near-daily quakes. In 2003, a 6.6 magnitude flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people.