A strong quake measuring 7.2 magnitude hits Iran's northern province of Sulaimaniyah on Sunday, killing 4 people and wounding 50 others. (Xinhua Photo)
BAGHDAD, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- A huge earthquake measuring 7.2 magnitude hit Iraq's northern province of Sulaimaniyah on Sunday, killing four people and injuring 50 others, according to the Kurdish Rudaw newsite.
The epicenter of the earthquake was 32 km southwest of the Halabja area near the Iranian border at the depth of 33.9 km, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
The earthquake was felt in many Iraqi provinces in the north and central regions, including the Iraqi capital Baghdad, witnesses said.
Four people were killed and nearly 50 others injured by the damage of the houses, in addition to a landslide in a mountain adjacent to the Darbandikhan Dam, according to the report.
Most casualties occurred in the town of Darbandikhan, some 35 km southeast of the city of Sulaimaniyah.
The casualties in Darbandikhan could rise as some houses have collapsed and it is not clear yet whether there were people buried under the debris, Nasih Mala Hassan, mayor of Darbandikhan, was quoted as saying.
The Iraqi Minister of Water Resources warned the people down the Darbandikhan Dam to be in highest alert as the condition of the dam is not clear.
In Erbil, the capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region, dozens of people were taken to hospitals. Some were treated from injuries and others fainted or shocked, said the online newsite.
Many of the injured in Erbil were students who live in dormitories, local health department was quoted as saying.
Saad Maan, spokesman of the Iraqi Interior Ministry, told reporters that cracks appeared in some buildings in central Baghdad, while an old house was seriously damaged.
In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, five people were wounded in the city of Khanaqin, some 165 km northeast of Baghdad, due to the collapse of their houses and shops, Head of the City Hall Samir Mohammed Noor told Xinhua.
Faris al-Azzawi, head of Diyala's provincial health department, told Xinhua that some 140 people fainted due to the earthquake and were sent to hospital, but no casualties were reported so far from the collapse of some houses and buildings.