MIDDLE EAST

Six earthquakes strike along Iran-Iraq border, rattle Baghdad

Rescue teams have reportedly been dispatched to the Kermanshah province that borders Iraq. (Reuters)

A series of six earthquakes with a magnitude of at least 5 hit along the Iran-Iraq border and rattled even Baghdad and parts of the Iraqi countryside on Thursday, striking in the same area that saw a temblor in November that killed over 530 people. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The US Geological Survey said five of the quakes struck near the Iraqi city of Mandali, followed by one that struck near Mehran in western Iran. All struck within an hour of each other beginning at 0659 GMT.

Iranian state television said 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 USGS. 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.

Iranian authorities offered similar figures for the earthquakes on state television. All the information was preliminary and could change as scientists examine the data. In November, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake 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. Iran sits on major fault lines and is prone to near-daily earthquakes. In 2003, a 6.6 magnitude quake flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people.

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Last Update: Thursday, 11 January 2018 KSA 12:21 - GMT 09:21
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