Iranian state television says the number of people injured in a 6.4 magnitude earthquake that struck western Iran near the border with Iraq has risen to over 600 people.
Iranian authorities said early on November 26 that they had yet to discover any fatalities resulting from the quake, which occurred in the same area where a quake a year earlier killed more than 600 and injured more than 9,000 others.
Pir Hossein Kolivand, head of Iran’s state emergency department, told Iranian state television that most of the injured were hurt while fleeing – not due to earthquake damage.
“Fortunately, the quake was not near bigger cities,” Ali Moradi, the head of Iran’s seismology center, told Iranian state TV. “But it might have caused damage in villages and I hope there are not many villages located where it hit.”
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the quake was at a depth of about 10 kilometers with its epicenter 114 kilometers northwest of the city of Ilam, close to Iran’s border with Iraq.
Iran’s state broadcaster IRIB specified that the quake was centered near the predominantly Kurdish town of Sarpol-e Zahab in Iran’s western province of Kermanshah.
A 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit the same area near Sarpol-e Zahab in November 2017, killing at least 620 people and injuring thousands.
Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency said the quake on November 25 also was felt across six other Iranian provinces.
The Iraqi Geological Survey said the quake was felt in Baghdad and in Irbil, the capital of Iraq’s northern Kurdish region.
Kuwait’s state news agency, Kuna, reported that the quake was also felt in Kuwait and in coastal areas.
In 2003, a 6.6 magnitude earthquake in Iran’s southeastern province of Kerman killed some 31,000 people and destroyed much of the historic city of Bam.