Strong 7.3 Magnitude Earthquake Jolts Western Iran, Damages Villages

A 7.2-magnitude earthquake in the Middle East jolted

An natural disaster of magnitude 7.2 has hit the border region between Iran and Iraq, the US Geological Survey (USGS) says.

An quake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.4 jolted northern Iraq Sunday.

A strong quake that shook the Iran-Iraq border region yesterday killed at least 13 people, authorities and state media in the two countries said.

Photos and videos of extensive damage in both Iran and Iraq poured in on social media shortly after the quake. Extensive damage has also been reported in countless villages, which have also seen telecommunication and power outages.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake was centered around 19 miles (31 kilometers) outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja.

There are reports of injuries and casualties due to the quake.

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Many residents in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad rushed out of houses and tall buildings in panic.

"I felt like I was on a boat, I thought it was vertigo".

'The quake was felt in several Iranian provinces bordering Iraq. Both cities are hundreds of miles away.

The extent of damage and casualties remain to be seen.

Other media reports qouted Faramarz Akbari, the governor of Qasr-e Shirin as saying that six people had died and scores more injured.