An Iranian official reported that a powerful magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit the region along the border between Iran and Iraq on Sunday, killing at least 61 people and injuring 300 in Iran.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centred 31 kilometres outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja.
The Islamic Republic of Iran News Network quoted the head of the country’s emergency medical services, Pirhossein Koulivand, as saying at least 61 had been killed and 300 injured on Iran’s side of the border.
Iranian state TV also said Iraqi officials reported at least 6 people dead inside Iraq, along with more than 50 people injured in Sulaymaniyah province and about 150 in Khanaquin city. No reports were immediately available from Iraq’s government.
Officials announced that schools in Kermanshah and Ilam provinces would be closed Monday because of the tremor.
Iran sits on many major fault lines and is prone to near-daily quakes. In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people.