Powerful 7.6 Magnitude Quake Occurs on Iran-Iraq Border

The US Geological Survey said on its website that the magnitude 7.3 natural disaster struck 30 kilometres (19 miles) southwest of Halabjah at 9:18 pm (1818 GMT).

Large parts of Iraq have been shaken by a 7.2 magnitude natural disaster.

Iranian state media reported seven people had died in the quake. At least eight villages have been damaged. It says the officials also report more than 50 people were injured in Iraq's Sulaymaniyah province and about 150 were hurt in Khanaquin city.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake struck 15.5 miles beneath the surface about 20 miles from Halabjah, Iraq.

Many residents in Baghdad rushed out of houses and tall buildings in panic.

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Iranian provinces in the northwestern, western and central areas of the country were impacted, according to Iranian state TV. "But then I heard everyone around me screaming 'Earthquake!'"

Iraq's meteorology centre advised people to stay away from buildings and not to use elevators, in case of aftershocks.

It struck the area of Azgaleh in Kermanshah province at around 21:48 local time on Sunday.

The most extensive damage was in the town of Darbandikhan, 75 kilometers (47 miles) east of the city of Sulaimaniyah, and more than 30 people were injured in the town.

The extent of damage and casualties remain to be seen.

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