Tremors felt in Erbil as 5.5 magnitude natural disaster hits Kermanshah

Tremors felt in Erbil as 5.5 magnitude natural disaster hits Kermanshah

A series of earthquakes with a magnitude of at least 5 have hit the Iran-Iraq border and even rattled Baghdad and parts of the Iraqi countryside, striking in the same area that saw a tremor in November that killed more than 530 people.

The respective epicentres were in the areas of Hedjak, about 770 kilometres (475 miles) southeast of Tehran, and Sumar, 570 kilometres (350 miles) west of the capital, the centre said. There is no information about injured people and destroyed buildings.

Back on November 12, another massive quake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale had rattled Kermanshah province and killed at least 620 people. The natural disaster affected 1,650 settlements. The scientist says it appears that all are aftershocks from a November temblor that killed over 530 people.

12,000 homes were destroyed.

USGS earthquake map
USGS earthquake map

Geophysicist Randy Baldwin told The Associated Press on Thursday that such quakes should be expected in the region after the November 7.2 magnitude temblor. Earthquakes that register as 5 are considered moderate. "If there was a stressed fault that's ready to move, they happen like that until the stresses are relieved, so it's not too unusual".

The Iraqi state-run Iraqiya channel confirmed the earthquakes that were felt in the provinces of Baghdad, Diyala, Wasit and Salahudin, and that no casualties were reported. The media say residents rushed out to the streets after the quake.

In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 quake in the province of Kerman flattened the historic city of Bam, killing more than 26,000 people.

Late Thursday afternoon, another 4.8 magnitude quake struck in Kerman, according to the USGS.

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