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Deadly Earthquake Strikes Iran-Iraq Border

  • VOA News

A woman mourns as she holds the body of her daughter, who died in an earthquake, in Sarpol-e-Zahab, western Iran, Nov. 13, 2017.

Rescuers in Iran continue to dig through the rubble Monday in a search for survivors after a powerful earthquake that struck the day before on the Iran-Iraq border, killing more than 400 people.

Iranian state media reported Monday the death toll was at 407 with thousands more injured there. The majority of the victims were located in the town of Sarpol-e-Zahab in Kermanshah province. Iraq's Red Crescent reported nine people dead and over 400 injured.

As dusk approached Monday, tens of thousands of Iranians were forced to sleep outside for a second night.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the 7.3 magnitude earthquake was centered near the town of Halabja in Iraq's Kurdistan region.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said he directed health and aid agencies to do whatever they can to provide assistance.

"We will do everything possible to help them. Wishing safety and security for all our people," he wrote on Twitter.

Survivors sit in front of buildings damaged by an earthquake, in Sarpol-e-Zahab, western Iran, Nov. 13, 2017.
Survivors sit in front of buildings damaged by an earthquake, in Sarpol-e-Zahab, western Iran, Nov. 13, 2017.

The initial earthquake was followed by multiple aftershocks that sent people fleeing from their homes overnight.

The quake cut power and telephone service to several Iranian and Iraqi towns, making rescue efforts more difficult.

Iran sits on several major fault lines and has been hit by multiple deadly earthquakes in the past. A 2003 quake in the southern city of Bam killed at least 26,000 people, while a 2012 quake in East Azerbaijan province killed more than 300.

WATCH: Real time impact of earthquake

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