A shallow earthquake struck early Sunday about 26 kilometers (16 miles) southwest of the city of Javanrud in Iran's Kermanshah province, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said. Local media reported that at least two people were killed and 310 were injured.
The mountainous area near the border with Iraq was also the site of a powerful tremor that killed more than 600 people last November.
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What we know so far
- The quake struck at 2:43 a.m. local time (2213 UTC) at a depth of about 10 kilometers, the USGS said.
- It was followed by dozens of aftershocks, including two that measured above 4.0 on the Richter scale.
- Rescue teams were sent to the city of Tazehabad, where most of the casualties were reported.
- According to state television, the two dead were a pregnant woman and a 70-year-old man who suffered a heart attack.
- Kermanshah governor Houshang Bazvand said at least 500 buildings were destroyed.
- Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli is expected to travel to the affected area on Monday.
- Iraqi state television said the jolt was felt as far away as Baghdad, some 350 kilometers further west.
Quake-prone area: The Iraq-Iran border region sees frequent seismic activity due to the 1,500 kilometer fault line between the Arabian and Eurasian tectonic plates. Much of the area affected by Sunday's quake is rugged mountain terrain populated by farmers and hillside villages of earthen brick buildings. Iran has suffered a number of devastating jolts in recent years. In November 2017, a 7.3 magnitude quake killed at least 620 people and injured thousands. In 2003, some 31,000 people were killed by a catastrophic tremor that struck the southeastern city of Bam.
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nm/aw (Reuters, AP, dpa)