7.3 Magnitude Earthquake Devastates Iran-Iraq Border Region

A 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck the Iraq-Iran border region late Sunday night, killing 452 people and injuring thousands more. According to CNN, this earthquake is the deadliest of 2017, surpassing the September quake that hit Mexico City.

The US Geological Survey found that the earthquake was around 23 miles deep, which is fairly shallow, according to CNN. Aftershocks hit Kuwait, Lebanon, Turkey, Kuwait, and Pakistan.

Photo provided by USGS/Wikimedia Commons

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani intended to travel to Kermanshah on Tuesday to oversee rescue efforts and work, according to CNN. Other officials arrived before that in order to supervise the rescue work.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidir al-Abadi tweeted that he instructed government agencies and teams to assist citizens affected by the quake.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sent condolences and urged the military and citizens to help those affected by the quake, according to CNN.

BBC states that most of the people who died were in the western Iran town of Sarpol-e-Zahab and other parts of Kermanshah province. The United Nations said it was ready to assist if needed in a statement from the spokesman of the secretary-general.

Sarpol-e-Zahab’s hospital was severely damaged in the quake, according to BBC, and unable to adequately treat many of the injured citizens. Some cities are without running water and electricity. People living near a dam that may have been damaged by the quake in Iraq are being asked to evacuate.

CNN said that Majida Ameer, who lives in Iraq, told Reuters, “I was having dinner with my kids and suddenly the building was just dancing in the air […] I thought at first that it was a huge bomb. But then I heard everyone around me screaming, ‘Earthquake!’”

Iran is located on a major fault line between the Eurasian and Arabian tectonic plates. It has been struck by several earthquakes in the past. The worst of this century so far was in 2003, when a 6.6 magnitude quake struck, killing around 26,000 people, according to CNN.

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