Over 350 killed, 6,000 injured in Iran-Iraq earthquake

TEHRAN – At least 350 people have been killed and thousands are injured near the Iran-Iraq border after the region was rocked by a powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake, authorities said Monday.

The quake hit Azgeleh, but officials said the highest number of casualties were in Sarpol-e-Zahab, in Iran’s Kermanshah province.

Villages and cities near the quake are suffering from widespread power outages and destruction of property. Authorities said Iran’s armed forces will be sent to help remove rubble.

As of Monday, over 100 medics have been sent to devastated areas of Iran. At least 43 ambulances and 130 emergency technicians were stationed in Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport to transfer patients.

State news agency Irna quoted an emergency official as saying 5,953 people were injured in Iran alone.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei sent a message for all citizens to “rush to the aid of those affected in these early hours after the incident.”

Three days of mourning have been ordered for those in Kermanshah. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is scheduled to visit there Tuesday to assess damage and oversee rescue work.

On the Iraq side of the border, 11 people were killed and the most damage was seen in Darbandikhan, near the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

The Iraqi ministry of health said 321 people had been wounded in the Iraqi Kurdistan region, where Turkey has already delivered aid.

Shocks from Sunday’s earthquake could be felt as far away as Pakistan, Lebanon, Kuwait and Turkey. The casualties and damage were limited to only Iran and Iraq, though.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his condolences over the incident.