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Over 530 people killed in eight earthquakes along Iran-Iraq border

Seven of the quakes struck near the Iraqi city of Mandali, 120 km northeast of the Iraqi capital, says US Geological Survey

AP | PTI  |  Tehran 

People look at destroyed buildings after an earthquake at the city of Sarpol-e-Zahab in western Iran
File photo: People look at destroyed buildings after an earthquake at the city of Sarpol-e-Zahab in western Iran

A series of eight earthquakes hit the and rattled Baghdad on Thursday, apparently the aftershocks of a temblor that struck the mountainous region in November and killed over 530 people. Four people suffered minor injuries in Iran, state television reported. The said seven of the quakes struck near the Iraqi city of Mandali, 120 kilometers northeast of the Iraqi capital. is right on the border between the two nations. The eighth hit near in western Iran, about 90 kilometers southeast of along the sparsely populated Zagros Mountains that divide Iran and Iraq. All the earthquakes struck within an hour of each other, beginning at 0659 GMT. Six had a preliminary magnitude of at least 5, while two registered at magnitude 4. Scientists consider earthquakes of magnitude 5 as moderate. Iranian authorities offered similar figures for the earthquakes on state television.

All the information could change as scientists examine the data. Iranian state television said online that people rushed into the streets as the temblors hit. In Baghdad, people felt a quake shake the Iraqi capital, followed by what felt like aftershocks. All the earthquakes struck at a depth of 10 kilometers , according to the Earthquakes at magnitude 5 can cause considerable damage. The temblors also all were very shallow, which causes more ground shaking and potential damage, particularly in places without strict building codes. In November, a major 7.3 magnitude struck the same region, killing over 530 people and injuring thousands in Iran alone. In Iraq, nine people were killed and 550 were injured, all in the country's northern Kurdish region, according to the United Nations. Randy Baldwin, a geophysicist with the USGS' National Information Center in Golden, Colorado, said the earthquakes all appeared to be aftershocks from the November temblor. That area is home to many shallow faults, he said. "It's ongoing activity there," Baldwin told The Associated Press. "If there was a stressed fault that's ready to move, they happen like that until the stresses are relieved, so it's not too unusual.

First Published: Thu, January 11 2018. 19:40 IST
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