7.2 magnitude quake strikes Iran-Iraq border region - USGS

USGSThe earthquake struck close to Iraq's eastern border with Iran

The temblor was centred 32 kilometres (20 miles) southwest of Halabja, near the northeastern border with Iran, the US Geological Survey said.

The quake was even felt in the Iranian capital Tehran, with some villages hit by power outages, Iranian state TV reported. The region where the quake struck sits upon one of several major fault lines in Iran, and although that country sees quakes nearly daily, the most deadly one in recent history struck in 2003 - a 6.6 magnitude quake that left 26,000 dead.

In southeastern Turkey, the natural disaster was felt from Malatya to Van, locals reported. Extensive damage has also been reported in countless villages, which have also seen telecommunication and power outages.

Many residents in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad rushed out of houses and tall buildings in panic.

But governor of Qasr-e Shirin Faramarz Akbari said only two people had died in the town and 25 others were injured.

Iran's IRNA news agency said water and electricity had been cut in some parts of the Western province of Kermanshah.

It was reportedly felt across the Middle East including as far away the United Arab Emirates and Turkey and strongly in Baghdad.

Photos and videos of extensive damage in both Iran and Iraq poured in on social media shortly after the natural disaster.

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