Earthquake of magnitude 6.3 strikes western Iran, 70 injured
A magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck western Iran near its border with Iraq on Sunday night, the same area where another temblor last year killed over 600 people. Initial reports said the temblor injured at least 70 people.
Sunday night's earthquake struck near Sarpol-e Zahab in Iran's Kermanshah province, which suffered half of the casualties from last year's quake and where some still remain homeless. People fled into the street after the quake in fear.
State television in Iran reported the quake, while semi-official news agency Fars said it was felt across seven Iranian provinces. Authorities said six rescue teams were immediately deployed after the quake stopped and the country's army and its paramilitary Revolutionary Guard were responding.
Pir Hossein Kolivand, the head of Iran's emergency department, said at least 70 people were hurt. Kermanshah provincial Gov. Houshang Bazvand similarly said there were injuries, but gave no figure for those hurt.
The 6.3 earthquakes had a depth of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles), according to the US Geological Survey. Iran state TV gave the depth as 5 kilometres (3.1 miles). Such shallow earthquakes have broader damage.
The earthquake was felt as far away as the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
Iran is located on major seismic faults and experiences an earthquake per day on average. In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake flattened the historic city of Bam in southern Iran, killing 26,000 people.
Last year's earthquake near Sarpol-e Zahab, a predominantly Kurdish town, had a magnitude of 7.3. The region, nestled in the Zagros Mountains, largely rebuilt in recent decades after Iran and Iraq's ruinous 1980s war, saw many buildings collapse or sustain major damage in the 2017 quake.
(With inputs from agencies.)