Baghdad, November 13: At least 332 were killed and more than 2500 injured when a powerful earthquake of 7.3 magnitude struck the region along the border between Iran and Iraq on Sunday.
But other officials said the exact number of casualties would not be available for several hours, stating there were still people under the rubble from collapsed buildings.
No reports on the number of casualties were immediately available from the Iraqi government.
According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the epicenter of the tremor was about 103 kilometers southeast of the Iraqi Kurdish city of Sulaymaniyah, and 31 kilometers outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja.
Press TV reported that in Iraq, the most extensive damage was in the town of Darbandikhan, 75 kilometers east of the city of Sulaimaniyah in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region, and in Iran Kermanshah was hit the hardest.
According to Kurdish Health Minister Rekawt Hama Rasheed, over 30 people were wounded in the town. "The situation there is very critical," he added.
According to reports, the quake and its aftershocks have been felt in many Iranian provinces, including Kordestan, Kermanshah, Ilam, Khuzestan, Hamedan, West Azarbaijan, East Azarbaijan, Lorestan, Tehran, Qazvin, Zanjan and Qom.
A number of aftershocks, including two 4.9- and 4-magnitude ones, followed the seismic, which hit near Iraq’s border with Iran's western Kermanshah province.
The quake was also felt in other regional countries such as Turkey, Kuwait, Armenia, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Bahrain.