TEHRAN, Iran (AP) —
Iran’ state TV has further raised the death toll from a powerful earthquake the previous night along the Iran-Iraq border, and reports that 214 people were killed and 2,504 injured in the temblor.
The Iranian Health Department is asking citizens to donate blood for the injured.
Monday’s TV report says that more than half of the casualties are 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.
Iraq’s Interior Ministry says seven people were killed in Iraq as a result of last night’s earthquake along the Iran-Iraq border.
The temblor killed at least 207 on the Iranian side. That’s according to the latest report on Iranian state television.
In Iraq, the ministry’s spokesman, Brig. Gen. Saad Maan, said on Monday that 321 people were injured on the Iraqi side. Maan says all the casualties are in Iraq’s self-ruled northern Kurdish region.
The magnitude 7.3 quake was centered 19 miles (31 kilometers) outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja, according to the most recent measurements from the U.S. Geological Survey.
The quake could be felt across Iraq, shaking buildings and homes from Irbil to Baghdad and as far west as Anbar province.
A powerful earthquake shook the Iran-Iraq border late Sunday, killing more than 140 people and injuring 860 in the mountainous region of Iran alone, state media there said.
The Baghdad government did not immediately give word on damage or casualties in that country.
The 7.3-magnitude quake was centered 19 miles (31 kilometers) 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 23.2 kilometers (14.4 miles), a shallow depth that can have broader damage. Magnitude 7 earthquakes on their own 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.
Iranian social media and news agencies showed images and videos of people fleeing their homes into the night. Some 50 aftershocks have followed.
The state-run IRNA news agency disclosed the increase in casualties early Monday and said rescue work was continuing overnight and would accelerate during the daytime.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei offered his condolences Monday morning and urged rescuers and all government agencies to do all they could to help those affected, state media reported.
The semi-official ILNA news agency said at least 14 provinces in Iran had been affected by the earthquake.
Officials announced that schools in Kermanshah and Ilam provinces would be closed Monday because of the tremor.
Iranian state TV also said Iraqi officials reported at least six people dead inside Iraq, along with more than 50 people injured in Sulaymaniyah province and about 150 in the city of Khanaquin.
Iran sits on many major fault lines and is prone to near-daily quakes. In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people. The last major casualty earthquake in Iran struck in East Azerbaijan province in August 2012, killing over 300 people.
Associated Press writer Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report.