Tehran (Monitoring): At least 135 people have been killed, several wounded as 7.4 magnitude earthquake jolted the Iran-Iraq border.
Footage posted on Twitter showed panicked people fleeing a building in Sulaimaniyah, northern Iraq, as windows shattered at the moment the quake struck late Sunday, while images from the nearby town of Darbandikhan showed major walls and concrete structures had collapsed.
Iranian state broadcaster IRIB said 129 were dead in an updated toll posted on its website, while the official IRNA news agency said some 300 people had been injured, adding that the toll was expected to rise.
Six others were reported dead on the Iraq side of the border.
“We are in the process of setting up three emergency relief camps,” said Mojtaba Nikkerdar, the deputy governor of Iran’s Kermanshah province.
The quake hit 30 kilometres (19 miles) southwest of Halabja in Iraqi Kurdistan at around 9.20 pm, when many people would have been at home, the US Geological Survey said.
Iran’s emergency services chief Pir Hossein Koolivand said it was “difficult to send rescue teams to the villages because the roads have been cut off… there have been landslides.” The worst-hit towns in Iran were Qasr-e Shirin in Kermanshah and Azgaleh, about 40 kilometres northwest, IRNA said.
It added that 30 Red Cross teams had been sent to the quake zone, parts of which had experienced power cuts.
In Iraq, officials said the quake had killed six people in Sulaimaniyah province and injured around 150.
In Sulaimaniyah, residents ran out onto the streets and some damage to property was reported.
“Four people were killed by the earthquake” in Darbandikhan, the town’s mayor Nasseh Moulla Hassan told media.
A child and an elderly person were killed in Kalar, according to the director of the hospital in the town about 70 kilometres south of Darbandikhan, and 105 people injured.