A 7.2 magnitude earthquake has struck areas along the Iraq-Iran border, killing at least two people and injuring dozens, according to Iranian state media.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) said Sunday’s quake hit close to Halabjah, southeast of Sulaymaniyah, a city in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq.
The tremor, which was felt as far away as Qatar, struck at 9:18pm local time (18:18) GMT, and its epicentre was at a depth of 33.9km.
Faramarz Akbari, governor of Iran’s Qasr-e Shirin city, reported the death toll to Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency. He also said that estimating damages is impossible due to a massive power cut.
Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan, reporting from the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, said cars came to a standstill in the city as the buildings began to sway.
“Baghdad is not prone to earthquakes so when people began to come outside, the shock was visible on the faces,” he said.
“For the first few seconds, I actually thought an explosion had taken place, but as it carried on – for up to a minute – I realised it was an earthquake,” he added.
Pictures and footage published on social media showed people seeking safety in the streets of Sulaymaniyah while the interiors of buildings shook.
Material damages captured by Rudaw English’s managing editor @OsamaGolpy in #Halabja #earthquake pic.twitter.com/6MaFWai7Vb
– Rudaw English (@RudawEnglish)November 12, 2017