Massive killer quake strikes border between Iraq and Iran, felt as far away as Israel
A massive quake has killed over 400 people, and injured thousands in the border region between Iraq and Iran. The quake struck around 9:18 PM local time on Sunday.
Several tall buildings collapses and many other were rendered uninhabitable by the quake. About 70,000 people were left without shelter.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- A deadly quake, felt from Iran to Israel, has rocked the border region between Iraq and Iran, impacting up to 1.8 million people. As of now, about 400 people have been reported killed, and another 7,000 injured. About 70,000 are in need of shelter. It is likely all the numbers are much higher than what is presently reported.
The quake struck as many people were sitting down to their evening meal, or preparing for bed. In the region where it struck, many homes are made of mud bricks, which renders them vulnerable to earthquakes. Several tall buildings collapsed.
The shaking lasted more than a minute and the quake was registered at magnitude 7.3. The event was shallow, about 23 km underground, which results in more destruction on the surface.
Electrical infrastructure has been disrupted, leaving several hospitals without electricity for a time. Landslides were also making it impossible for rescue teams to reach more remote locations in the mountains. Initial rescue efforts were also hampered by nighttime darkness. Water has also been cut off across the area.
Video and photographs show rubble, twisted metal and shattered tile where buildings used to be. Rescue workers are digging frantically for survivors. It is certain the death toll will rise from the present accounting of 349, and could ultimately range into the thousands.
The most damage was suffered in the Iranian province of Kermanshah with more than 140 people killed in a single town near the epicenter. The town's hospital was also damaged and without electricity. Aftershocks have collapsed some structures which were weakened in the initial quake.
At least one dam is being inspected for damage along the Diyala River. The Darbandikhan Dam may have suffered damage and people living downstream have been asked to leave their homes. The Mosul Dam, which was also hit by the quake, appears to be undamaged following inspection.
During the quake, many people ran outdoors, which can be a dangerous decision in some places. In Iraq where buildings are more prone to collapse, it sometimes makes sense to risk running outside. However, experts advise people to shelter in place during an earthquake, taking refuge under a sturdy object such as a table. In most places, casualties are caused by objects falling off buildings such as shattered glass, facades, and roofing. The buildings usually survive, but people who run outside have no protection against objects falling off the building. The safest place in an earthquake is outdoors, away from any structures.
The USGS registered the quake as a 7.3 event occurring at 23 km depth, at 9:18 PM local time on Sunday.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake took place along a known fault, and took place across the fault, displacing the ground in an area roughly equal to 40x15 miles.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
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