Large quake near Iran, Iraq border


Iranian state TV says a 7.2-magnitude natural disaster has jolted the region near the border between Iran and Iraq.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake was centered around 19 miles (31 kilometers) outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja.

There was no immediate information on damages or casualties in Israel or elsewhere.

Iran's state TV reported that at least eight villages were damaged in the quake.

According to the seismologic centre of the University of Tehran, the quake was magnitude-7.3 and happened in Ezgeleh village near the Iranian city of Kermanshah.

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Many residents in Baghdad rushed out of houses and tall buildings in panic.

The quake was also felt in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.

"I felt like I was on a boat, I thought it was vertigo".

The quake's epicentre was in Penjwin in the north-western Sulaimaniyah province within the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region very close to the Iranian border, according to an Iraqi meteorology official. It destroyed the northern cities of Rudbar, Manjil, and Lushan, along with hundreds of villages, killing an estimated 37,000 people.

As a result of the quake, 138 people were injured in Iran, the figure may increase, the dead data is not yet available, a source in the Iranian Red Crescent told RIA Novosti.