Magnitude 7.3 natural disaster hits Iraq, Iran

USGSThe earthquake struck close to Iraq's eastern border with Iran

USGSThe earthquake struck close to Iraq's eastern border with Iran

The last major natural disaster to hit the region was in 1927 - a 6.2-magnitude tremor that killed 500 people and injured another 700.

"Four people were killed by the earthquake" in Darbandikhan, the Iraqi town's mayor Nasseh Moulla Hassan told AFP.

He also added that 4,000 more blankets from Turkey's southeastern provinces Mus and Diyarbakir were directed to the Habur border gate.

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At least 61 people died and more than 300 people were injured in Iran when a magnitude 7.2 quake hit near the Iran-Iraq border region, according to Iranian officials.

The temblor was centered 32 kilometers (20 miles) southwest of Halabja, Iraq, and had a depth of 33.9 kilometers (21 miles), the US Geological Survey said.

Iraq's meteorology centre advised people to stay away from buildings and not to use elevators, in case of aftershocks.

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Iranian state television said the quake was felt in numerous cities in the country and had damaged eight villages, including knocking out electricity in many of them. In 2003, a 6.6 magnitude flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people.

A TASS correspondent reported from Kuwait City that earth tremors had been felt in that city.

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