Iran-Iraq border reels from 7.3-magnitude quake; at least 30 reported dead



A 7.3-magnitude earthquake in the Middle East jolted "the Iraq-Iran border region" on Sunday, the Twitter account for U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) earthquake alerts tweeted.

At least 30 people were killed and more than 200 were hurt during an earthquake on the Iran-Iraq border region, according to an Iranian official.

The 7.3-magnitude earthquake jolted the area on Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announced, as reports of serious structural damage started to emerge.

On its website, the USGS placed the quake's epicenter at about 18.6 miles southwest of the Iraqi city of Halabja.

The USGS also issued an "orange" alert for "shaking-related fatalities and economic losses."

"Significant casualties and damage are likely and the disaster is potentially widespread," the agency said online. "Past orange alerts have required a regional or national level response."

In Iraq, the quake destroyed old houses in Sadr City and triggered supermarket damage in the area. Traffic across Baghdad was slowed to a standstill.

The health department in Baquba said that it had received more than 30 fainting cases. In Khanaqin, the quake hurt five people and the minaret of one of the city's biggest mosques toppled to the ground.

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