6.3 magnitude earthquake hits Iran more than700 injured

More than 700 people were injured when a magnitude 6.3 earthquake hit western Iran, authorities said Monday.

No fatalities were reported. Most of the victims suffered only slight injuries in Sunday night’s quake, according to Iranian state television.

It added that more than 160 aftershocks occurred in the region, including two quakes stronger than magnitude 5.

Tremors were reportedly felt across the wider region, with reports of at least one death in nearby Iraqi Kurdistan.

The earthquake struck near the town of Sarpol-e Zahab in Iran’s Kermanshah province, which was the epicenter of an earthquake last year that killed more than 600 people and where some still remain homeless.

Iran is located on major seismic faults and experiences an earthquake per day on average.

An official for Iran’s Red Crescent Society, Morteza Salimi, told AFP that most of Sunday’s casualties were caused by a stampede sparked by the first tremors.


State TV aired footage of damaged houses in Sarpol-e Zahab, where a number of people still remain homeless after last year’s destructive earthquake.

Dozens of rescue teams, as well as the national army and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have been deployed, the authorities said.

President Hassan Rouhani “has ordered officials to do whatever is necessary to provide help for the victims,” state TV reported.


According to officials in nearby Iraqi Kurdistan, one person died and 43 others were injured in the quake.

Residents in the Iraqi capital Baghdad – about 175km away – and several other Iraqi provinces also felt Sunday’s quake.


Many people in the affected areas in Iran were forced to spend the night outdoors in cold weather due to concerns about aftershocks.

In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake flattened the historic city of Bam in southern Iran, killing 26,000 people.


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