Earthquake in Iraq on November 12 2017 07:13 PM (UTC).
Rescuers on Tuesday used backhoes and heavy equipment to dig through the debris of buildings toppled by a powerful earthquake on the border between Iran and Iraq that killed over 530 people, with weeping women crying out to God as aid workers found new bodies. The grim work began in earnest again at dawn in the Kurdish town of Sarpol-e-Zahab in the western Iranian province of Kermanshah, which appears to be the hardest hit in the magnitude 7.3 earthquake. Kermanshah, an almost entirely Kurdish province nestled in the Zagros Mountains that run along the border with Iraq, suffered all of Iran's fatalities from the temblor Sunday night that shook 14 of the country's 31 provinces. Both rescuers and local residents alike stood atop the remains of apartment complexes Tuesday, looking through the rubble. They used heavy blankets to carry away corpses. The hospital in Sarpol-e-Zahab was heavily damaged, and the army set up field hospitals, although many of the injured were moved to other cities, including Tehran. The quake also damaged an army garrison and buildings in the border city and killed an unspecified number of soldiers, according to reports. There are fears more dead could be in the rubble in Sarpol-e-Zahab and other rural villages of Kermanshah province. Mohammad Ali Monshizadeh, a spokesman for the provincial forensic department, said possibly as many as 150 people were buried by family members after the earthquake in remote villages who had not been counted in the official death toll, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported. Iran's Red Crescent also said it worried about more bodies in rural villages, though it said the rescue operations in larger towns could end soon. President Hassan Rouhani arrived in Kermanshah province on Tuesday to see the damage for himself and offer his support to those affected. "This was a pain for all Iranians," Rouhani said, according to a statement on the presidency's website. "Representing the nation of Iran, I offer my condolences to the people of Kermanshah, and tell them that all of us are behind Kermanshah." Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif offered his thanks to foreign countries offering to help but wrote on Twitter: "For now, we are able to manage with our own resources." Cleric Abdolhossein Moezi, a representative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who also is touring the area, said there was a need for more relief material and "security." That was echoed by Nazar Barani, the mayor of the town of Ezgeleh, who told state TV on Tuesday his constituency still had a "deep need" for food, medicine, and tents. He said 80 percent of the buildings in the town had been damaged by the quake.

Many of the heavily damaged complexes in Sarpol-e-Zahab were part of construction projects under former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The newly homeless slept outside in cold, huddled around makeshift fires for warmth. The quake killed 530 people in Iran and injured 7,460, the state-run IRNA news agency reported Tuesday. Most of the injuries were minor with fewer than 1,000 still hospitalized, Iran's crisis management headquarters spokesman Behnam Saeedi told state TV. The quake was centered about 19 miles (31 kilometers) outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and struck 14.4 miles (23.2 kilometers) below the surface, a somewhat shallow depth that can cause broader damage. The quake caused Dubai's skyscrapers to sway and could be felt 1,060 kilometers (660 miles) away on the Mediterranean coast. Seven deaths occurred in Iraq and 535 people were injured, all in the country's northern, semiautonomous Kurdish region, according to its Interior Ministry. The disparity in casualty tolls immediately drew questions from Iranians, especially because so much of the town was new. Sarpol-e-Zahab fell to the troops of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during his 1980 invasion of Iran, which sparked the eight-year war between the two countries that killed 1 million people. Though clawed back by Iran seven months later, the area remained a war zone that suffered through Saddam's missile attacks and chemical weapons. After the war, Iran began rebuilding the town. It also was part of Ahmadinejad's low-income housing project, which aided the Holocaust-questioning hard-liner's populist credentials but also saw cheap construction. Under the plan dubbed as Mehr or "kindness" in Farsi, some 2 million units were built in Iran, including hundreds in Sarpol-e Zahab. Many criticized the plan, warning that the low-quality construction could lead to a disaster. "Before its 10-year anniversary, Mehr buildings have turned into coffins for its inhabitants," the reformist Fararu news website wrote Monday. Rouhani himself said the government would launch an investigation into why the state-constructed buildings so easily toppled. "The faults and shortcomings in the construction of these buildings should be investigated," he said, according to the state-run IRNA news agency. The "government will definitely follow up on these issues and identify the culprits." Iran sits on many major fault lines and is prone to near-daily quakes. In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people. In 2012, a major casualty earthquake killed over 300.
Iranian authorities on Tuesday scrambled to bring relief aid to thousands of people left homeless by an earthquake that killed at least 432 people and injured nearly 5,000 more. The national rescue service called off most searches for bodies trapped under rubble, saying it was unlikely survivors would be found. President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday arrived in Kermanshah province, a mostly Kurdish area hit hardest by the 7.3-magnitude tremor that struck the mountainous border region between Iran and Iraq Sunday. "Today, all Iranians stand behind Kermanshah, and we will do everything so that people can more quickly forget this tragedy," he said. As rescue operations wrapped up, the priority was "to provide solutions for heating, housing and food," said Pir Hossein Koolivand, the head of national rescue services. Around 15,500 homes were destroyed and another 15,000 damaged in Kermanshah province, according to official estimates. Seven towns and nearly 2,000 villages were damaged, authorities said, and several villages were completely destroyed. Many villages consist of homes made of earthen bricks unable to withstand earthquakes. However, some criticized damage to so-called Mehr government constructed housing projects from a decade ago, suggesting they were made using shoddy material and construction techniques. "Before their 10-year anniversary, Mehr buildings have turned into coffins for their inhabitants," the reformist Fararu news website wrote Monday. Recognizing the problem, Rouhani said the government would launch an investigation. "The faults and shortcomings in the construction of these buildings should be investigated," state-run IRNA news agency quoted him as saying. The "government will definitely follow up on these issues and identify the culprits." Officials said 22,000 tents, 52,000 blankets and tons of food and water had been distributed. In the town of Sarpol-e-Zahab, one of the hardest hit in the quake, thousands of homeless residents sheltered in makeshift tent camps. Others were preparing to spend a third night sleeping on the streets as night time temperatures were expected to dip to around 3 degrees Celsius (37 Fahrenheit) through the rest of the week. Some complained of the slow response from the state. "What we need is a tent and covers to be able to get through the night," said Shima Maryami Kiani, 24, a mother of a three-year-old. "People in some villages are still in dire need of food, water and shelter," said Faramarz Akbari, the governor of Qasr-e Shirin county in Kermanshah province. Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp, its affiliated Basij militia and the army were sent to impacted areas on Sunday. Iran's Red Crescent has provided emergency shelter to thousands of homeless people. But it said aid supply efforts were being hampered by a lack of water and electricity as well as blocked roads in some areas. The earthquake has led to an outpouring of solidarity from Iranians across the country and millions more in the diaspora. "Iran cries with Kermanshah," read a headline printed in Kurdish in a state run newspaper. Ali Daei, a legend in football and former national team coach, started a campaign to gather food and supplies. Two football teams in Tehran also said they were sending tents and blankets to the area. On social media, Iranians at home and abroad sought to launch their own initiatives to bring supplies to the affected areas. Dozens of countries including Arab states, as well as Iran's enemies the US and Israel, extended their sympathies to the Iranian people. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif thanked the international community for messages of sympathy and offers of assistance. "For now, we can manage with our own resources. Many thanks for all the offers and we will keep you posted," he wrote. In neighboring Iraq, at least eight people were killed and several hundred injured. The 7.3 magnitude hit Sunday evening around 30 kilometers (19 miles) southwest of Halabja, in Iraqi Kurdistan. The area along the border of Iraq and Iran sees frequent seismic activity due to the 1,500 kilometer fault line between the Arabian and Eurasian tectonic plates. In 2003, some 31,000 people were killed by a catastrophic tremor that struck the Iranian city of Bam. Since then, two major earthquakes killed more than 600 people in 2005 and another in 2012 resulted in nearly 300 dead.
Rescuers searched the rubble of toppled buildings for bodies Tuesday, as the death toll from a powerful earthquake that struck a border region between Iran and Iraq climbed to at least 530. The province of Kermanshah in western Iran was hardest-hit by Sunday's magnitude-7.3 earthquake. All of Iran's fatalities occurred there. Seven people died in Iraq. Iran's state-run IRNA news agency reported the new death toll Tuesday and said 7,460 people were injured. Rescuers and local residents stood on top of the ruins of apartment complexes in the Kurdish town of Sarpol-e-Zahab in Kermanshah, searching for bodies and carrying them away with blankets. Casualties were taken to cities including the capital Tehran as the army set up field hospitals in Sarpol-e-Zahab. The local hospital was badly damaged. Newly-homeless quake victims slept outside and huddled around makeshift fires for warmth. Mohammad Ali Monshizadeh, a spokesman for Kermanshah's forensic department, said as many as 150 people could have been buried by their relatives in remote villages and were not included in the official death toll, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported. In Iraq, 535 people were injured, all in the country's northern, semiautonomous Kurdish region, the country's Interior Ministry said. The quake, which the U.S. Geological Survey said was centered about 19 miles from the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja, caused skyscrapers in Dubai to sway and could be felt 660 miles away on the Mediterranean coast. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited Kermanshah province Tuesday to see the damage and offer support to the victims. "This was a pain for all Iranians. Representing the nation of Iran, I offer my condolences to the people of Kermanshah, and tell them that all of us are behind Kermanshah," he said, according to a statement on the presidency's website. Tens of thousands of Iranians spent a second night in the open after a 7.3-magnitude quake struck near the border with Iraq. Residents who had fled their homes when Sunday's quake rocked the mountainous region spanning Iran's western province of Kermanshah and neighbouring Iraqi Kurdistan braved chilly temperatures as authorities struggled to get aid into the quake zone. Iran has declared Tuesday a national day of mourning as officials outlined the most pressing priorities and described the levels of destruction in some parts as "total". President Hassan Rouhani visited the city of Kermanshah on Tuesday and promised that the government would move swiftly to help those left homeless by the disaster. "I want to assure those who are suffering that the government has begun to act with all means at its disposal and is scrambling to resolve this problem as quickly as possible," he said.
Iran's state-run news agency says the death toll from a powerful earthquake along the Iran-Iraq border has risen to 430 in that country. The report from the IRNA news agency says Tuesday morning the number of injured has risen to 7,156 people. More than half of the casualties are from the Kurdish-majority town of Sarpol-e Zahab in Kermansh province. The only hospital in the town was heavily damaged and the army has set up field hospitals. The magnitude-7.3 quake was centered 19 miles (31 kilometers) outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Iran's government declared Tuesday as a national mourning day. Italy is sending 12 tons of tents, blankets, mobile kitchens and other assistance to victims of the powerful earthquake that struck Iraq and Iran. The Foreign Ministry said Monday an Italian plane loaded with the aid would be leaving the U.N.'s regional emergency warehouse base in Brindisi, bound for Sulaimaniyah, Iraq, in the coming hours. Separately, the ministry said it was working on a financial aid package for Iran to be funneled through the Red Crescent, which is working on the ground. The 7.3-magnitutde earthquake killed over 400 people, mainly in Iran. A powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake near the Iraq-Iran border has killed over 400 people across both countries, sent residents fleeing their homes into the night and was felt as far away as the Mediterranean coast. Iran's western Kermanshah province bore the brunt of the temblor Sunday night, with authorities saying Monday that the quake killed 407 people in Iran and injured 6,700. Kermanshah is a rural, mountainous region where residents rely mainly on farming. Iraq's Interior Ministry says the earthquake killed at least seven people and injured 535 in the country's northern Kurdish region. The quake was centered 19 miles (31 kilometers) outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja, according to the most recent measurements from the U.S. Geological Survey. It could be felt on the Mediterranean coast, some 660 miles (1,000 kilometers) away.
At least 414 people were killed and almost 6,500 others injured after a 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck near Iran's border with Iraq, authorities said Monday. Rescuers were trying to find survivors trapped under collapsed buildings but their efforts were hindered in many places by landslides. More than 100 aftershocks were registered, according to Iranian officials. Many houses in rural areas of Iran are made of mud bricks that can crumble easily in a quake. Iranian authorities said the quake killed 407 people with at least 5,953 were injured. Iraq's Interior Ministry confirmed that seven people in the neighboring country were killed by the quake, with 535 people wounded. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was recorded at 9:18 p.m. local time (1:18 p.m. ET) Sunday. It measured the quake at a magnitude 7.3. It was felt as far west as the Mediterranean coast. The quake's worst damage appeared to be in the town of Sarpol-e-Zahab in Kermanshah province, which sits in the Zagros Mountains that divide Iran and Iraq.
More than 300 people were killed in Iran when a magnitude 7.3 earthquake jolted the country on Sunday, state media said, and rescuers were searching for dozens trapped under rubble in the mountainous area. At least six have died in Iraq as well. State television said more than 336 people were killed in Iran and at least 3,950 were injured. Local officials said the death toll would rise as search and rescue teams reached remote areas of Iran. The earthquake was felt in several western provinces of Iran, but the hardest hit province was Kermanshah, which announced three days of mourning. More than 236 of the victims were in Sarpol-e Zahab county in Kermanshah province, about 15 km (10 miles) from the Iraq border. Iranian state television said the quake had caused heavy damage in some villages where houses were made of earthen bricks. Rescuers were laboring to find survivors trapped under collapsed buildings. The quake also triggered landslides that hindered rescue efforts, officials told state television. At least 14 provinces in Iran had been affected, Iranian media reported. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei offered his condolences on Monday, urging all government agencies to do all they could to help those affected. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake measured magnitude 7.3. An Iraqi meteorology official put its magnitude at 6.5 with the epicenter in Penjwin in Sulaimaniyah province in the Kurdistan region, close to the main border crossing with Iran. Kurdish health officials said at least six people were killed in Iraq and at least 68 injured. Iraq's health and local officials said the worst-hit area was Darbandikham district, near the border with Iran, where at least 10 houses had collapsed and the district's only hospital was severely damaged. The quake was felt as far south as Baghdad, where many residents rushed from their houses and tall buildings when tremors shook the Iraqi capital. "I was sitting with my kids having dinner and suddenly the building was just dancing in the air," said Majida Ameer, who ran out of her building in the capital's Salihiya district with her three children. "I thought at first that it was a huge bomb. But then I heard everyone around me screaming: 'Earthquake!"'

Similar scenes unfolded in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region, and across other cities in northern Iraq, close to the quake's epicenter. Electricity was cut off in several Iranian and Iraqi cities, and fears of aftershocks sent thousands of people in both countries out onto the streets and parks in cold weather. The Iranian seismological center registered around 118 aftershocks and said more were expected. The head of Iranian Red Crescent said more than 70,000 people were in need of emergency shelter. Hojjat Gharibian was one of the hundreds of homeless Iranian survivors, who was huddled against the cold with his family in Qasr-e Shirin. "My two children were sleeping when the house started to collapse because of the quake. I took them and ran to the street. We spent hours in the street until aid workers moved us into a school building," Gharibian told Reuters by telephone. Iran's police, the elite Revolutionary Guards and its affiliated Basij militia forces were dispatched to the quake-hit areas overnight, state TV reported. Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said some roads were blocked and authorities were worried about casualties in remote villages. An Iranian oil official said pipelines and refineries in the area remained intact. Iran sits astride major fault lines and is prone to frequent tremors. A magnitude 6.6 quake on Dec. 26, 2003, devastated the historic city of Bam, 1,000 km southeast of Tehran, killing about 31,000 people. On the Iraqi side, the most extensive damage was in the town of Darbandikhan, 75 km east of the city of Sulaimaniyah in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region. More than 30 people were injured in the town, according to Kurdish Health Minister Rekawt Hama Rasheed. "The situation there is very critical," Rasheed told Reuters. The district's main hospital was severely damaged and had no power, Rasheed said, so the injured were taken to Sulaimaniyah for treatment. Homes and buildings had extensive structural damage, he said. In Halabja, local officials said a 12-year-old boy died of an electric shock from a falling electric cable. Iraq's meteorology center advised people to stay away from buildings and not to use elevators in case of aftershocks.
At least 164 people were killed and more than 1,500 more were injured after a 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck near the Iran-Iraq border, the Iranian government said early Monday. The state news agency, IRNA, said the official death toll was expected to rise. The Iraqi Meteorological and Seismology Organization, meanwhile, warned that the country should brace for another possible quake in the coming hours. The U.S. Geological Survey, or USGS, said the quake was recorded at 9:18 p.m. local time (1:18 p.m. ET) Sunday. It measured the quake at a magnitude 7.3, while Iraq's state geologists said it was magnitude 7.5."There are still people under the rubble," an Iranian governor, Mojtaba Nikkerdar, said on state TV, according to Reuters. "We hope the number of dead and injured won't rise too much, but it will rise." Stephen Hicks, a seismologist at the University of Southhampton in England, said that in a region where earthquakes are common, Sunday's uake appeared to be the largest in "a long time." Like most of those other temblors, this one was shallow, said Don Blakeman, a geophysicist with the USGS's National Earthquake Information Center. No large cities were near the epicenter, Blakeman said, but NBC News producers in the region said it was felt as far away as Tehran and Baghdad, which are about 460 miles and 170 miles away, respectively. Still, Blakeman added, the region has many towns and villages. "Without a doubt," he said, there will likely be serious damage. At her home in Irbil, about 170 miles northwest of the epicenter, Lana Serwan said the temblor lasted for a minute. "Everything was shaking," said Serwan, 35. Another Irbil resident, Manar Ksebeh, 26, said he was in his 12th-floor apartment when he heard people running and shouting. So he fled down his building's stairwell. "I wanted to make sure I wasn't feeling dizzy," Ksebeh said. Video from Sulaym?n?yah, Iraq - 48 miles southeast of the epicenter - showed people fleeing a coffee shop as a glass door appeared to break. Video posted to social media showed a swinging chandelier in an apartment in Israel and people who evacuated high-rise buildings in Kuwait lining the streets. Thirteen miles from the epicenter, in Derbendîxan, Iraq, video showed a collapsed home.
More than 140 people were killed and at least 860 others were hurt in a powerful earthquake on the Iran-Iraq border region Sunday, Iranian officials revealed. The quake had a magnitude of 7.3, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announced, as reports of serious structural damage started to emerge. The Islamic Republic of Iran News Network quoted the head of the country's emergency medical services, Pirhossein Koulivand, as saying more than 140 people had been killed and at least 860 injured on Iran's side of the border. Iranian state TV also said Iraqi officials reported at least six people dead inside Iraq, along with more than 50 people injured in Sulaymaniyah province and about 150 in Khanaquin city. No reports were immediately available from Iraq's government. On its website, the USGS placed the quake's epicenter at about 18.6 miles southwest of the Iraqi city of Halabja. The USGS also issued an "orange" alert for "shaking-related fatalities and economic losses." "Significant casualties and damage are likely and the disaster is potentially widespread," the agency said online. "Past orange alerts have required a regional or national level response." In Iraq, the quake destroyed old houses in Sadr City and triggered supermarket damage in the area. Traffic across Baghdad was slowed to a standstill. The health department in Baquba, Iraq, said that it had received more than 30 fainting cases. In Khanaqin, the quake hurt five people and the minaret of one of the city's biggest mosques toppled to the ground. Koulivand earlier told a local television station that the earthquake knocked out electricity in Iran's western cities of Mehran and Ilam. He also said 35 rescue teams were providing assistance. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a phone call with the Interior Ministry emphasized the need for maximum effort from officials. The semi-official Iranian ILNA news agency said at least 14 provinces in Iran had been affected by the earthquake.
Six people have died and many injured after a magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit the south-east of Iraqi city of As- Sulaymaniyah. The earthquake hit at 9:18pm local time at a depth of 33 kilometres, 200km north east of Baghdad. Faramarz Akbari, Ghasr-e Shirin's governor, said that six people had died and scores more injured, according to the state-run IRNA news agency. Esmail Najar, head of Iran's National Disaster Management Organization, said "some injured people might be buried under the rubble in Ghasr-e Shirin". The earthquake has been felt by Turkey, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, according to reports. It initially said the quake was of a magnitude 7.2, before revising it to 7.3, AAP reports. BNO news reports that, according to computer models from the United States Geological Survey, as many as 68.3 million people across the region may have felt Sunday's earthquake, including 2.9 million people who may have experienced "strong" to "very strong" shaking. "Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are highly vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though some resistant structures exist," the USGS said in an assessment. "Significant casualties and damage are likely and the disaster is potentially widespread." One person on Twitter has described building "violently shaking." Pictures and video shared on social media show people seeking safety in Sulaymaniyah as well of damaged buildings.An Iraqi meteorology official said capital Baghdad was hit by an earthquake of approximately 6.5, but it was unclear if they were referencing the same quake.
A 7.2-magnitude earthquake in the Middle East jolted "the Iraq-Iran border region" on Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announced, as people across the region reported damage to buildings in the area. On its website, the USGS placed the quake's epicenter at about 19 miles south-southwest of the Iraqi city of Halabja. The agency also issued an "orange" alert for "shaking-related fatalities and economic losses." There were no immediate reports of casualties. "Significant casualties and damage are likely and the disaster is potentially widespread," the agency said online. "Past orange alerts have required a regional or national level response." Iranian provinces in the northwestern, western and central areas of the country were impacted. Iranian social media was abuzz with area people evacuating their homes. The quake destroyed old houses in Sadr city and triggered supermarket damage in the area. Traffic across Baghdad was slowed to a standstill.
Several UAE residents took to social media late Sunday night saying that they have felt some tremors corresponding to an earthquake. According to multiple users on Twitter, they felt the ground trembling for a brief period and are asking if others have also experienced it. Users from several parts of the country say that the tremors were felt not only in Dubai, but also in the Reem Island district of Abu Dhabi. "I was having dinner when I felt the ground shake a bit," a Dubai resident told KT. "My wife felt it too. We rushed down as soon as we felt the tremors," he added. "We felt a minor quake," added a resident of Reem Island, Abu Dhabi. 'I felt a minor earthquake in my building in Deira,' a KT reader said. Another resident also said that the tremors were felt in Discovery Gardens. Sharjah residents also felt the tremors. KT reader Ashraq said that he felt the earthquake in the Al Nahda area; reader Samreena also chimed in and confirmed that she felt the tremors in the emirate.