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7.2 magnitude quake rocks northern Iraq

7.2 magnitude quake rocks northern Iraq

An natural disaster with a magnitude of 7.3 has struck Iraq about 200km northeast of the capital Baghdad, the US Geological Survey says.

It struck 32km (20mi) south-west of the Iraqi town of Halabja, the USGS said.

No casualties have yet to be reported.

Semi-official Fars news agency and state news agency IRNA said at least six people were killed and many others injured in the border town of Qasr-e Shirin.

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

Iranian state television said the quake was felt in numerous cities in the country and had damaged eight villages, including knocking out electricity in many of them.

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

In Iran, ISNA said the quake was felt in several cities in the west of the country including Tabriz. But then I heard everyone around me screaming "Earthquake!"'.

Iraq's Meteorological Organization issued a warning on state TV urging people to stay away from buildings and to avoid from using elevators, CNN reported.

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

Several aftershocks also jolted the Iranian province of Kermanshah.

The tremors were felt across the Middle East, including Israel and Turkey.

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