7.3-magnitude earthquake hits Iran-Iraq border region

A 7.3-magnitude earthquake has shaken the northern border region between Iran and Iraq, killing at least 221 people and injuring more than 5,660.

One Iranian aid agency said 70,000 people needed shelter after the quake, one of the largest this year.

At least 207 of those who died were in Iran’s western Kermanshah province, with seven killed elsewhere in Iran.

Seven more people died in Iraq, where people fled into the streets in the capital, Baghdad.

Mosques in the city have been broadcasting prayers through loudspeakers.

Many homes in the predominantly Kurdish mountainous area are made of mud bricks. As a result, they are at risk of collapse during a significant earthquake like the one that struck on Sunday.

About 1.8 million people live within 100km (60 miles) of the epicentre, the UN estimates.

On the Iraqi side, the most extensive damage was in the town of Darbandikhan in the Kurdistan Region.

“The situation there is very critical,” Kurdish Health Minister Rekawt Hama Rasheed told Reuters.

The Iraqi ministry of health said 321 people had been wounded in the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

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