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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Magnitude 6.3 earthquake strikes western Iran

More than 600 people were injured but there have been deaths reported

A picture taken on November 14, 2017 shows a view of the buildings left damaged by a 7.3-magnitude earthquake that struck two days before in the town of Sarpol-e Zahab in Iran's western Kermanshah province. AFP
A picture taken on November 14, 2017 shows a view of the buildings left damaged by a 7.3-magnitude earthquake that struck two days before in the town of Sarpol-e Zahab in Iran's western Kermanshah province. AFP

More than 600 people were injured when a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck western Iran near its border with Iraq on Sunday night, state television reported.

The earthquake was felt in at least seven provinces of Iran, but most strongly in Kermanshah, where last year more than 600 people were killed and thousands injured in Iran's deadliest earthquake in more than a decade.

"The number of wounded people has reached 646. Most of them were not hospitalised because of the slight injuries," state TV quoted officials as saying.

The head of Iran's Red Crescent Society, Mahmoud Mohammadi Nasab, said there were no fatalities.

Iran's state news agency said two aftershocks measuring 5.2 and 4.6 on the Richter scale jolted the town of Sarpol-e Zahab on Monday morning.

Television footage showed damaged houses in Sarpol-e Zahab, which suffered half of the casualties from the 7.3 magnitude earthquake last November and where some people remain homeless.

The earthquake had a depth of 10 kilometres, making it very shallow. Shallow earthquakes have broader damage.

Sunday's tremor was also felt in Kuwait and the Iraqi capital Baghdad, as well as in Erbil in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region and other Iraqi provinces, but no damage was reported.

Iran is located on major seismic faults and experiences an earthquake per day on average. In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake flattened the historic city of Bam in southern Iran, killing 31,000 people.