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Over 200 Dead After Iran Earthquake

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TEHRAN, Iran -

A powerful earthquake shook the Iran-Iraq border late Sunday, killing 214 people and injuring more than 2,500 in the mountainous region of Iran alone, Iranian state TV reported.

The temblor killed at least seven people in Iraq and injured 321 there, all in the country's northern, semi-autonomous Kurdish region, according to Iraq's Interior Ministry.

Monday's Iranian TV report said more than half the casualties were from the town of Sar-Pol-Zahab and the district of Ezgeleh, which have a combined population of 30,000.

The only hospital in town was heavily damaged and the army has set up field hospitals to help those needing assistance. The TV says rescuers are trying to help those affected.

The magnitude 7.3 quake was centered 19 miles outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja, according to the most recent measurements from the U.S. Geological Survey. It struck at a depth of 14.4 miles, a shallow depth that can result in broad damage. Magnitude 7 earthquakes in general are capable of widespread, heavy damage.

The quake was felt as far west as the Mediterranean coast. Its worst damage appeared to be in Iran's western Kermanshah province, which sits in the Zagros Mountains that divide Iran and Iraq. Residents in the rural area rely mainly on farming to make a living.

The shaker was also felt in parts of Turkey and Israel, the Reuters news agency reports.

Electricity was cut off in several Iranian and Iraqi cities, Reuters says.

Iranian social media and news agencies showed images and videos of people fleeing their homes into the night. Some 50 aftershocks followed.

Iran's state-run IRNA news agency said rescue work was continuing overnight and would accelerate during the daytime.

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