Rescue effort underway following earthquake that killed over 400

©AFP/ISNA/POURIA PAKIZEH
Last updated: November 13, 2017 at 16:58 pm

A magnitude 7.3 earthquake has struck near the border of Iraq and Iran, killing at least 400 people and leaving over 7,000 with injuries.

The centre of the quake, which stuck at 9.18pm local time yesterday, was just under 20 miles from Halabja, a city in eastern Iraq.

A large rescue effort is ongoing. The United Nations has estimated that 1.8 million people live within 60 miles (100km) of the epicentre.

One Iranian aid agency has said that over 70,000 people are in need of shelter following the disaster. Iranian media reported earlier that a mother and her baby had been pulled alive from the rubble.

The main hospital in the town of Sarpol-e Zahab has been badly damaged, which is making treatment for those wounded more difficult.

The majority of confirmed deaths were in the western Iran, with 407 dead. Most of the victims were in the Kermanshah province.

This figure included soldiers and guards, according to the commander-in-chief of the Iranian army.

Over the border in Iraq, nine people died and Darbandikhan town in the Kurdistan Region suffered severe damage.

Landslides occurred in the border’s mountainous areas, destroying homes and sending people fleeing.

This has also made it harder for rescuers to get to rural areas. There are fears a dam could burst in Iraq after damage from the earthquake was identified.

Reports from Iran say that tremors lasted for more than a minute in some places. The earthquake struck at 14.4 miles (23.2km) deep. Despite the relatively shallow depth, it was felt in Turkey.

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