Iran - Iraq border earthquake: Death toll rises drastically

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Iran - Iraq border earthquake: Death toll rises drastically

At least 210 people were killed in Iran and Iraq on Sunday when a powerful magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit the region, state media in the two countries said, as rescuers searched for dozens trapped under rubble.

At least 207 people were killed in Iran, Behnam Saeedi, a spokesman for Iran's National Disaster Management Organization, said on the state television. More than 1,700 were injured, he said.

Officials expected the casualty toll to rise when search and rescue teams reached remote areas of Iran.

A quake registering a magnitude between 7 and 7.9 can inflict widespread and heavy damage. Moreover, many houses in rural areas of Iran are made of mud bricks that can crumble easily in a quake.