Iran earthquake: Death toll soars to more than 450

At least 450 people have been killed and thousands are injured near the Iran-Iraq border after the region was rocked by a powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake, authorities said Monday.

Rescuer personnel search wreckage of a building in Pole-Zahab, Iran, Monday in the aftermath of a powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake over the weekend. Photo by Abedin Taherkenareh/EPA
Rescuer personnel search wreckage of a building in Pole-Zahab, Iran, Monday in the aftermath of a powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake over the weekend. Photo by Abedin Taherkenareh/EPA

The quake hit Azgeleh, but officials said the highest number of casualties were in Iran’s Kermanshah province.

Villages and cities near the quake are suffering from widespread power outages and destruction of property. Authorities said Iran’s armed forces will be sent to help remove rubble.

As of Monday, over 100 medics have been sent to devastated areas of Iran. At least 43 ambulances and 130 emergency technicians were stationed in Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport to transfer patients.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei sent a message for all citizens to “rush to the aid of those affected in these early hours after the incident.”

Three days of mourning have been ordered for those in Kermanshah. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is scheduled to visit there Tuesday to assess damage and oversee rescue work.

On the Iraq side of the border, 11 people were killed and the most damage was seen in Darbandikhan, near the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

Shocks from Sunday’s earthquake could be felt as far away as Pakistan, Lebanon, Kuwait and Turkey. The casualties and damage were limited to only Iran and Iraq, though.

By Sara Shayanian