Magnitude 7.3 quake hits Iraq, Iran

A 7.2-magnitude earthquake in the Middle East jolted

At least seven people have died and a number injured as the quake hit Iraq's Kurdish region near the Iranian border, as well as impacting Baghdad and villages across the border in Iran.

At least eight villages were damaged in Iran after the natural disaster Iran's state TV reported.

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

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The quake was centred about 30km southwest of Halabjah and 100km from the city of As-Sulaymaniyah, in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region. "But then I heard everyone around me screaming 'Earthquake!'".

The temblor, centered about 350 kilometers (217 miles) north of Baghdad, was felt throughout Iraq, USGS said. Iranian social media was abuzz with area people evacuating their homes.

Tremors could be felt as far away as in the UAE after a 7.3 magnitude quake struck Northern Iraq.

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Iraq's Meteorological Organization issued a warning on Iraqi State TV urging citizens to stay away from buildings and to refrain from using elevators.

In 2003, a 6.6-magnitude quake flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people.

Residents of Turkey's southeastern city of Diyarbakir also reported feeling a strong tremor, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties in the city.

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