Powerful earthquake in Iraq kills at least 130 in Iran
(CNN) — A powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake Sunday in the Iraqi city of Halabja, close to the Iraq-Iran border, killed scores of people in Iran, Iranian officials said.
State-run Press TV reported at least 130 people were killed in Iran, citing the deputy governor of Kermanshah province, Mojtaba Nikkerdar. Citing the head of Iran’s emergency services, Iran’s semi-official news agency Fars News said at least 1,000 people were injured in the quake.
Four people died in eastern Iraq and dozens were wounded in the town of Darbandikhan, Iraq, Omar Ahmad, the governor of Sulaimaniya, told CNN.
The temblor, centered about 350 kilometers (217 miles) north of Baghdad, was felt throughout Iraq, according the US Geological Survey. The quake crushed buildings in Darbandikhan, according to video from AFP.
Iraq’s Meteorological Organization issued a warning on Iraqi State TV urging citizens to stay away from buildings and to refrain from using elevators.
Shocks were also felt in Pakistan, Lebanon, Kuwait and Turkey, news agencies in those countries reported.
Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi was closely following the situation of the country’s citizens, a statement from his office said.
Terror in Halabja decades ago
Halabja, in northern Iraq, was the scene of a deadly chemical attack decades ago during the reign of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
On March 16, 1988, Hussein ordered a poison gas attack on the Kurdish people in Halabja. Iraqi warplanes and artillery attacked the region, unleashing mustard gas and sarin, a clear and colorless nerve agent. More than 5,000 people died.
There is a monument to the massacre in Halabja.