The Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS -

THE toll from the pow­er­ful earth­quake that struck Iran on Sun­day has reached 445, ac­cord­ing to the Iran’s semiof­fi­cial Tasnim News Agency.

More than 7300 peo­ple have been in­jured by the mag­ni­tude 7.3 quake cen­tred on the Iran-Iraq bor­der 31km out­side the east­ern Iraqi city of Hal­abja. Ex­perts said the quake was cen­tred 23.2km be­low the sur­face, a shal­low depth that can cause broader dam­age.

Lo­cal of­fi­cials said the death toll of Iran’s dead­li­est earth­quake in more than a decade would rise as search and res­cue teams reached re­mote ar­eas to look for peo­ple trapped under rub­ble.

More than half the ca­su­al­ties are from the Kur­dish-ma­jor­ity town of Sar­pol-e Za­hab in Ker­man­shah Prov­ince. The only hos­pi­tal in the town was heav­ily dam­aged and the army has set up field hos­pi­tals. Iran’s gov­ern­ment de­clared yes­ter­day a na­tional mourn­ing day.

Iran is criss­crossed by major fault lines and has suf­fered sev­eral dev­as­tat­ing earth­quakes in re­cent years.

Iraq’s In­te­rior Min­istry said the earth­quake killed at least seven peo­ple and in­jured 535.

Pic­ture: AP

A woman mourns as she holds the body of her daugh­ter, who died in an earth­quake in Sar­pol-e-Za­hab, western Iran.

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