Powerful quake hits Iraq and Iran

An earthquake rattled the Iran Iraq border on Nov. 12 2017

An earthquake rattled the Iran Iraq border on Nov. 12 2017

An natural disaster of magnitude 7.2 has hit the border region between Iran and Iraq, the US Geological Survey (USGS) says.

Like most quakes that strike the region, this one was shallow, said Don Blakeman, a geophysicist with the USGS's National Earthquake Information Center.

Eight villages were damaged in Iran from the quake, state television reported.

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Still, Blakeman added, the region has many towns and villages.

Iran is especially prone to nearly daily earthquakes because it sits astride many fault lines. Many local houses there are made of mud bricks, which can crumble easily.

At least four people died and dozens were wounded in Iraq, according to the Kurdistan Regional Government's Health Minister Rekawt Hama Rasheed. In 2003, a 6.6 magnitude flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people.

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It was felt for about 20 seconds in Baghdad, and sometimes for longer in other provinces of Iraq, AFP journalists said.

The quake struck in northeast Iraq - near the border with Iran.

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

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The quake took place along a 1,500km fault line between the Arabia and Eurasia tectonic plates, a belt extending through western Iran and into northeastern Iraq, the US Geological Survey said.

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