Iran-Iraq Earthquake Kills More Than 300

Published on Nov 13 2017 - - World - -

TEHRAN — Iranians spent the night digging through rubble in a frantic search for survivors after a powerful earthquake struck near the Iraqi border on Sunday evening, killing more than 300 people and injuring thousands more, officials said.

The epicenter of the quake was near Ezgeleh, an Iranian town about 135 miles northeast of Baghdad, and had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3, according to the United States Geological Survey.

Photographs from the region — a patchwork of farms and home to many Kurds, a large ethnic minority in Iran — and posted on the internet showed collapsed buildings, cars destroyed by rubble and people sleeping in the streets in fear of aftershocks.More than 3,900 people in Iran were injured, state television reported, and hundreds of people waited in line to donate blood in Tehran in response to a call from the government.

At least eight people were killed on the Iraqi side of the border, according to Dr. Saif al-Badir, a spokesman for the Health Ministry, and at least 535 were hurt.Particularly hard hit was Sarpol-e Zahab, a city in the western Iranian province of Kermanshah, according to the semiofficial Iranian Students News Agency. The authorities said that at least 236 people had died in the city, which has a population of 30,000, and the main hospital was believed to be at least partly running.

“My friend was screaming, saying, ‘I lost my home,’ ” one resident wrote on Twitter. “Thank God, she and her family are doing well. She said people were only mourning and their loved ones were under the rubble.”

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