Iranian officials have confirmed the death of 61 people after a powerful earthquake struck near the country’s border with Iraq on Sunday, November 12.
The strong 7.3 magnitude tremor jolted Sarpol-e Zahab; a town about 15 kilometers (10 miles) from the border where most of the victims were killed.
State news television further reported more than 300 were injured and the death toll is feared to rise over the next few hours.
“The quake was felt in several Iranian provinces bordering Iraq … eight villages were damaged … electricity has been cut in some villages and rescue teams have been dispatched to those areas,” said a local news channel.
The earthquake’s epicenter has been recorded to be near Penjwin in the north-western Sulaimaniyah province.
Morteza Salim of Iran’s Red Crescent Organization told BBC that major damage were reported in at least 8 villages in Sulaimaniyah including several deaths and injured.
“Some other villages have suffered power cuts and their telecommunications system has also been disturbed,” Salim said.
Several residents of an Iraqi village near the border also rushed out of their houses and buildings in panic, but there were no reports of injuries or death so far.
The earthquake, with a shallow depth of 23 kilometers, was also felt across Pakistan, Lebanon, Kuwait and Turkey, CNN has reported on Monday.