A 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck the border region between Iran and Iraq around 9:20 p.m. Sunday evening, leaving over 400 people dead and injuring over 6,600 more.
The earthquake is the deadliest experienced in 2017, surpassing the 7.1 magnitude shaker that struck Mexico City on September 19, leaving 369 dead.
According to Iran’s semi-official Mehr News Agency, approximately 236 of the deceased are believed to be from a town in Iran’s Kermanshah province named Sarpol-e Zahab, which is located 10 miles from Iraq’s border.
— Press TV (@PressTV) November 13, 2017
— (((Sia Ayrom))) (@siaayrom) November 12, 2017
“Sarpol-e Zahab has only one hospital, which was demolished in this incident. All patients and hospital staff have been buried beneath the rubble, so it cannot offer any service,” Farhad Tajari, the local MP, said, according to the Guardian. He said he lost 15 members of his family in the devastating quake.
The Iranian Red Crescent told the Guardian that more than 70,000 people were in need of emergency shelter.
Iran’s national blood bank was seeking blood donations from people with type “O” blood:
Iran's national blood bank is in need of -O blood type—urging people with -O type blood to donate & support the many hundreds who are injured in the aftermath of Sunday's deadly earthquake. via @IrnaEnglish #IranEarthquake #Kermanshah #Iran #Iranian #خون #ايران pic.twitter.com/UeqV3kq0rc
— Tara Kangarlou (@tarakangarlou) November 13, 2017
Iran is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries due to its location between the Eurasian and Arabian tectonic plates.
The last major earthquake to strike Iran before Sunday’s deadly quake was in East Azerbaijan province in August 2012. Over 300 people died.
According to Haaretz, it was a strike-slip earthquake which the Smithsonian describes as follows:
When two pieces of Earth, with stress built up from grinding against each other for many years, suddenly slip in a side-by-side motion and travel in the “along strike” direction. The lurch sends waves traveling through the surrounding rocks which can cause the earth to jolt and roll at the surface.”
The deadliest quake to strike Iran in modern history took place on December 26, 2003. A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit the holy, southeast city of Bam, killing 31,000 people, approximately one-quarter of the city’s population.