HALABJA, Iran - A strong earthquake measuring 7.3 in magnitude struck near the border of Iraq and Iran, with authorities claiming 13 people were killed in the quake.
The U.S. Geological Survey said that the magnitude 7.3 temblor was centred 20 miles (32 kilometres) southwest of Halabja, near the northeastern border with Iran.
The U.S.G.S. added that the quake took place along a 1,500-kilometre fault line between the Arabia and Eurasia tectonic plates, a belt extending through western Iran and into northeastern Iraq.
In Iran, the earthquake was felt in several cities in the west of the country including Tabriz.
Authorities and state media in Iraq said the quake had killed six people in Sulaimaniyah province and injured around 150.
The Darbandikhan town mayor Nasseh Moulla Hassan said in a statement, "Four people were killed by the earthquake.”
According to the director of the hospital in the Kalar town about 70 kilometres (45 miles) south of Darbandikhan, another two people were killed in the town.
Meanwhile, Iranian state media reported seven people had died in the quake.
Kermanshah province governor Houshang Bazvand was quoted as saying in the ISNA news agency, "According to the latest toll, six people were killed in Qasr-e Shirin and one in Azgaleh.”
According to the agencies in both the towns, 25 people had been wounded.
Monitoring agencies said that the quake struck the mountainous area of Sulaimaniyah province at 9:18 pm (1818 GMT) at a depth of 25 kilometres (15 miles).
It was felt for about 20 seconds in Baghdad, and sometimes for longer in other provinces of Iraq.
In Sulaimaniyah province in Iraq's Kurdistan region, residents ran out onto the streets at the time of the quake.
Officials said that some minor property damage was reported in the area.
The earthquake was also felt from Malatya to Van in southeastern Turkey.
In the town of Diyarbakir, residents also left their homes before returning.
In May, the state media reported a 5.7 magnitude earthquake near Iran's border with Turkmenistan killed two people, injured hundreds and caused widespread damage.
Iraq's Meteorological Organization issued a warning on Iraqi State TV urging citizens to stay away from buildings and to refrain from using elevators.
According to local news agencies, shocks were felt in Iran, Pakistan, Lebanon, Kuwait and U.A.E.