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Strong earthquake hits Iraq and Iran, killing more than 130.

More than 120 people were killed in Iran and at least several others in Iraq on Sunday when a powerful magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit the region, state media in the two countries said, as rescuers stepped up efforts overnight to find dozens trapped under rubble, Reuters reported.

At least 129 people were killed in Iran's Kermanshah province on the Iraqi border, the provincial deputy governor told state television.

"There are still people under the rubble. We hope the number of dead and injured won't rise too much, but it will rise," Mojtaba Nikkerdar said

More than 60 of the victims were in the town of Sarpol-e Zahab, about 15 km (10 miles) from the border.

Kurdish health officials also said at least four people were killed in Iraq and there were 50 injured.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake measured magnitude 7.3, while an Iraqi meteorology official put its magnitude at 6.5 with the epicentre in Penjwin in Sulaimaniyah province in the Kurdistan region close to the main border crossing with Iran.

The electricity was cut off in several Iranian and Iraqi cities, and fears of aftershocks sent thousands of people in both countries out onto the streets and parks in cold weather.

Many houses in rural parts of the province are made of mud bricks and are known to crumble easily in quake-prone Iran. A quake registering a magnitude between 7 and 7.9 can inflict widespread, heavy damage. Local people said in media reports and on Twitter they had felt several aftershocks. Television said schools were closed in Kermanshah and Ilam provinces on Monday.

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Publication:AKIpress Central Asian News Service
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Nov 13, 2017
Words:280
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