NGDIR News Section-- More than 200 people are dead and 1,700 injured after a powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck the border region between Iran and Iraq.
Iran's Press TV says the highest number of casualties in the country occurred in the town of Sarpol-e Zahab, Kermanshah province, with the country's semi-official Mehr news agency saying 100 of the 207 reported dead were from that town alone.
While most of the deaths reported so far have been in Iran, the quake's epicenter was across the border in Iraq, about 350 kilometers (217 miles) north of Baghdad.
Tremors were felt throughout the region according the US Geological Survey, which said the quake reached a depth of 23km, or just over 14 miles.
The quake crushed buildings in Darbandikhan, in northern Iraq, according to video from AFP. Dozens of people from the town were wounded, according to Omar Ahmad, the governor of Sulaimaniya province. In nearby Halabja, at least four people were reported dead.
Iraq's Meteorological Organization issued a warning on Iraqi State TV urging citizens to stay away from buildings and to refrain from using elevators.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi tweeted Monday that he has "instructed civil defense teams and health and aid agencies to do all that they can to provide assistance" to those affected by the quake. Few other details have emerged from the Iraqi side of the border regarding the impact of the quake.
Shocks were also felt in Pakistan, Lebanon, Kuwait and Turkey, news agencies in those countries reported.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei sent a message of condolence, and urged military and civilian help to be dispatched to quake victims.