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A damaged storefront is seen after an earthquake in Halabja, Iraq, Nov. 12, 2017. Twitter - Osama Golpy/Rudaw/Social Media/via Reuters

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A powerful earthquake followed by a strong aftershock rocked the Iran-Iraqi border Sunday, killing as many as 61 people.

The 7.3 magnitude quake struck Sunday night outside the eastern Iraqi Kurdistan city of Halabja, very close to the Iranian border. It was felt as far away as Turkey and Israel.

 

The initial jolt was followed by a 5.3 aftershock, sending panicked villagers fleeing from their homes.

An Iranian news agency reports 61 deaths while at least four are reported dead in Iraq.

Authorities in both countries say they expect damage reports and death tolls to rise as rescue teams reach smaller towns and villages, many of which are said to have lost power and the ability to communicate with the outside.

The U.S. Geological Survey says Sunday's quake was along a 1,500 kilometer long fault line that runs through Iran and Iraq.

 

Source: VOA

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