More than 700 hurt in Iran quake


Approximately 700 people have been injured after an earthquake of 6.4 magnitude hit western Iran, state television reported in an updated toll Monday. The quake struck Kermanshah province late Sunday, with an epicentre 17 kilometres (11 miles) southwest of the city of Sarpol-e Zahab, according to the country’s institute of geophysics.

State television, quoting the emergency services, said that 716 people had been injured, but there were no reports of deaths or major damage. State TV showed images of cracked walls inside homes, but said only 33 of those injured remained in hospital on Monday morning.

The initial quake, around seven kilometres deep, was followed by several aftershocks including one with a magnitude of 5.2.

Morteza Salimi, an official with Iran’s Red Crescent Society, said most of the casualties from Sunday had been injured in a stampede sparked by the first tremors.

Journalists from AFP reported feeling the quake as far away as Baghdad in neighbouring Iraq.

Iran sits on top of two major tectonic plates and experiences frequent seismic activity.

In 2003, a 6.6-magnitude tremor struck the country killing at least 31,000 people in the process. The country’s deadliest incident was a 7.4-magnitude quake in 1990 that killed 40,000 people in northern Iran and injured about 300,000 and left half a million homeless.

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