Earthquake kills 335 people in Iran, Iraq

A 7.3-magnitude earthquake has shaken the northern border region between Iran and Iraq, killing at least 335 people and injuring thousands more, BBC has reported.

Quoting one Iranian aid agency, BBC said 70,000 people needed shelter after the quake, one of the largest this year.

The majority of those who died were in Iran's western Kermanshah province.

Nearly 4,000 were said to be injured.

Seven people died in Iraq, where people fled into the streets in the capital, Baghdad.

Mosques in the city have been broadcasting prayers through loudspeakers.

"I was sitting with my kids having dinner and suddenly the building was just dancing in the air," a Baghdad mother-of-three, Majida Ameer, told Reuters news agency.

"I thought at first that it was a huge bomb. But then I heard everyone around me screaming: 'Earthquake!'

Iranian state news agency Irna quoted an emergency official as saying 3,950 were injured in Iran alone.

Most of the victims were in the town of Sarpol-e Zahab, about 15km (10 miles) from the border, Iran's emergency services chief, Pir Hossein Koolivand was quoted as saying on Iranian state television channel Irinn.

The town's main hospital was severely damaged, leaving it struggling to treat hundreds of wounded, state TV reported.

Many homes in the mountainous area are made of mud bricks and are at risk of collapse in a significant earthquake like the one that struck on Sunday.

BBC

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