Strong earthquake hits Iraq and Iran, killing at least 164 people in Iran and 4 in Iraq
International media reports say at least 168 people were killed in Iraq and Iran on Sunday when a powerful magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit the region. At least 164 people were killed in Iran, Behnam Saeedi, a spokesman for Iran’s National Disaster Management Organization, was quoted as saying by Reuters. More than 1,650 were reportedly injured. Officials expected the casualty toll to rise when search and rescue teams reached remote areas of Iran. The earthquake was reportedly felt in several provinces of Iran but the hardest hit province was Kermanshah, which announced three days of mourning. More than 97 of the victims were in Sarpol-e Zahab county in Kermanshah, about 15 kilometers from the Iraq border. Meanwhile, the U.S. Geological Survey said the quake measured magnitude 7.3. An Iraqi meteorology official put its magnitude at 6.5 with the epicenter in Penjwin in Sulaimaniyah province in the Kurdistan region close to the main border crossing with Iran, according to Reuters. Kurdish health officials were cited as saying at least four people were killed in Iraq and at least 50 injured.