More than 400 people were killed in Iran when a magnitude 7.3 earthquake jolted the country, state media said on Monday, and rescuers were searching for dozens trapped under rubble in the mountainous area. At least six have died in Iraq as well.
State television said more than 407 people were killed in Iran’s deadliest earthquake in more than a decade and at least 6,600 were injured. Local officials said the death toll would rise as search and rescue teams reached remote areas of Iran.
The earthquake, which struck on Sunday, was felt in several western provinces of Iran but the hardest hit province was Kermanshah. More than 300 of the victims were in Sarpol-e Zahab county in Kermanshah province, about 15 km (10 miles) from the Iraq border.
Iranian state television said the quake had caused heavy damage in some villages where houses were made of earthen bricks. Rescuers were laboring to find survivors trapped under collapsed buildings.
Iranian media reported that a woman and her baby were pulled out alive from the rubble on Monday in Sarpol-e Zahab, the worst hit area with a population of 85,000.
The quake also triggered landslides that hindered rescue efforts, officials told state television. At least 14 provinces in Iran had been affected, Iranian media reported.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei offered his condolences on Monday, urging all government agencies to do all they could to help those affected. State TV appealed for blood donations.