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Strong earthquake killed at least 145 people around the border between Iran and Irak

A magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit the region around the border between Iran and Iraq on Sunday. At least 145 people were killed, preliminary report says, but rescuers searched for dozens trapped under rubble.

More than 850 were injured, a spokesman for Iran’s National Disaster Management Organization said on the state television. Many houses in rural parts of the province are made of mud bricks and are known to crumble easily in quake-prone Iran.  Kermanshah province in Iran announced three days of mourning. More than 97 of the victims were in the town of Sarpol-e Zahab in Kermanshah, about 15 km (10 miles) from the Iraq border. The hospital of the town was also severely damaged.

earthquake-location

Electricity was cut off in several Iranian and Iraqi cities, and fears of aftershocks sent thousands of people in both countries out. Some roads are also cut off. The Iranian armed forces have been deployed to help emergency services. At the location of this earthquake, the Arabia plate is moving towards the north with respect to Eurasia at a rate of about 26 mm/yr. The earthquake occurred as the result of oblique-thrust faulting at mid-crustal depth (~25 km). Preliminary focal mechanism solutions for the event indicate rupture occurred on a fault dipping shallowly to the east-northeast, or on a fault dipping steeply to the southwest.

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