Powerful Quake Kills Hundreds in Middle East

Monday, 13 November 2017 09:18
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Iran's state-run news agency says the country's death toll in the powerful earthquake along the Iran-Iraq border has risen to 341 people killed.

IRNA's report on Monday afternoon also raised the number of injured, to 5,953.

President Hassan Rouhani is due to visit the areas damaged by the earthquake on Tuesday.

The magnitude 7.3 quake was centred 19 miles (31 kilometres) outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja, according to the most recent measurements from the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake was felt as far west as the Mediterranean coast. Iran's western Kermanshah province, sitting in the Zagros Mountains that divide Iran and Iraq, was the hardest hit. Residents in the rural area rely mainly on farming to make a living.


The powerful magnitude 7.3 earthquake that struck the Iraq-Iran borer area on Sunday night has also damaged the dam holding back the Diyala River in Iraq.

The dam's director, Rahman Hani, has shown an Associated Press crew the damage to the dam, near the town of Darbandikhan in Iraq's Sulaimaniyah province.

Hani says the dam, completed in 1961, is “the strongest built in the last one hundred years” but that there is now “very clear damage to the top of the dam.”

He says there are both “horizontal and vertical cracks on the road and in the body of the dam” and that parts of the dam have sunk lower.

It wasn't immediately clear how the damage would impact power production. The last time the dam was renovated was in 2013.

(The Associated Press)

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