Magnitude 6.3 earthquake strikes western Iran

November 25, 2018 - 11:35 am

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck western Iran near its border with Iraq on Sunday night, the same area where another temblor last year killed over 600 people. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Sunday night's earthquake struck near Sarpol-e Zahab in Iran's Kermanshah province, which suffered half of the casualties from last year's quake and where some still remain homeless.

State television in Iran reported the quake, while semi-official news agency Fars said it was felt across seven Iranian provinces. Authorities said six rescue teams were immediately deployed after the quake stopped.

Morteza Salimi of Iran's Red Crescent told state TV that since the area was reconstructed after the last year's quake, officials hope there won't be casualties.

The earthquake had a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), making it very shallow. Shallow earthquakes have broader damage.

The earthquake was felt as far away as the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

Iran is located on major seismic faults and experiences an earthquake per day on average. In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake flattened the historic city of Bam in southern Iran, killing 26,000 people.

Last year's earthquake near Sarpol-e Zahab, a predominantly Kurdish town, had a magnitude of 7.3. The region, nestled in the Zagros Mountains, largely rebuilt in recent decades after Iran and Iraq's ruinous 1980s war, saw many buildings collapse or sustain major damage in the 2017 quake.

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Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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