Magnitude 6.3 earthquake hits western Iran, no fatalities reported

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Magnitude 6.3 earthquake hits western Iran, no fatalities reported

Iran said on Sunday that no fatalities had been reported so far after an earthquake of magnitude 6.3 struck near its western border with Iraq, Iranian state TV reported. The tremor was also felt in the Iraqi capital Baghdad and in Kuwait.

“No reports of any fatalities (have been reported) yet and most of the injured were hurt while fleeing, not due to quake damage,” Pirhossein Koulivand, head of the Iranian emergency services, told state TV.

Six rescue teams had been immediately deployed to the quake-hit area and some 100 people were slightly injured, Iranian TV reported.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake occurred at a depth of 65 km (40 miles) and struck 114 km northwest of the city of Ilam, close to Iran`s border with Iraq.

Iranian media said the quake was felt in at least seven provinces of Iran and was strongest in Kermanshah province.

Fifty people were injured in the town of Sarpol-e Zahab, about 15 km (10 miles) from the border, near the epicentre of the quake, and 50 in a nearby town, Houshang Bazvand, the governor of Kermanshah province, told state TV.

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The Iraqi Geological Survey said the quake had been felt in Baghdad, where the interior ministry said no damage or casualties were reported, Erbil in the Kurdistan region, and other Iraqi provinces.

The quake was felt in some areas of Kuwait but no damage was reported, state news agency Kuna said.

“Fortunately, the quake was not near bigger cities. But it might have caused damage in villages and I hope not that many villages are located where it hit,” Ali Moradi, head of Iran`s seismology centre, told state TV.

Iran sits astride major fault lines and is prone to frequent tremors. Last November, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit western Kermanshah province, killing at least 620 people and injuring thousands mainly at Sarpol-e Zahab town.

In 2003, a quake of a magnitude of 6.6 in Kerman province killed 31,000 people and flattened the historic city of Bam.