6.3-magnitude earthquake hits western Iran

The quake struck the same area where another tremor killed over 600 people last year.

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 has shaken western Iran near its border with Iraq, the US Geological Survey (USGS) has reported.

USGS on Sunday said the quake was at a depth of 65km and struck 114km northwest of the city of Ilam in Iran’s Kermanshah province.

Iranian state TV said six rescue teams have been dispatched to the area. No casualty has been reported so far, it said.

At least 115 were injured in Sarpol-e Zahab and the neighbouring Gilan-e Gharb city, Kermanshah governor Houshang Bazvand told Fars news agency, the AFP news agency reported.

“No reports of any fatalities yet and most of the injured were hurt while fleeing, not due to quake damage,” Pirhossein Koulivand, head of the state emergency services, told state TV.

Morteza Salimi of Iran’s Red Crescent told state TV that since the area was reconstructed after the last year’s quake, officials hope there won’t be casualties.

Ali Moradi, head of Iran’s seismology centre, told state TV “the quake was not near bigger cities. But it might have caused damage in villages and I hope not that many villages are located where it hit.”

The Iraqi state media said the tremor was felt in capital Baghdad and in Erbil in the Kurdistan region.

The earthquake struck near Sarpol-e Zahab in Iran’s Kermanshah province, where another quake, with a magnitude of 7.3, killed over 600 people last year.

Iran is located on major seismic faults and experiences an earthquake a day on average, according to The Associated Press news agency.

In 2003, a magnitude-6.6 earthquake flattened the historic city of Bam in southern Iran, killing 26,000 people.

Source: News Agencies

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