2017 Iran–Iraq earthquake

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2017 Iran–Iraq earthquake[1][2][3]
Iran-Iraq border earthquake ShakeMap (cropped).jpg
Date 2014
Origin time 18:18:18 UTC

7.3 Mw[4][1]

Depth 19.0 km (12 mi)[4]
Epicenter 34°54′18″N 45°57′22″E / 34.905°N 45.956°E / 34.905; 45.956Coordinates: 34°54′18″N 45°57′22″E / 34.905°N 45.956°E / 34.905; 45.956[4]
Fault Arabian and Eurasian plates
Type Thrust fault[4]
Areas affected
Max. intensity VIII (Severe)
Aftershocks 11 November
Casualties 540+ dead
8,100+ injured[6][7][8][9]
70,000+ homeless[9]

On 12 November 2017 at 18:18 UTC (21:48 Iran Standard Time, 21:18 Arabia Standard Time), an Earthquake with a Moment magnitude of 7.3 occurred on the Iran–Iraq border, just inside Iran, in Kermanshah Province,[4][10] with an Epicentre approximately 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of the city of Halabja, Iraqi Kurdistan.[4]

It was felt as far away as Israel and the United Arab Emirates. With at least 540 people killed (530 in Iran and 10 in Iraq) and more than 8,100 injured, as well as many more unaccounted for,[11][6][12] it is currently the deadliest earthquake of 2017.[13]

Tectonic Setting

The earthquake was located within the Zagros fold and thrust belt, part of the broad and complex zone of Continental collision between the Arabian and Eurasian Plates. At this location the relative convergence of the plates is about 26 mm per year.[4] The convergence is quite oblique to the Zagros belt, although it is partitioned into orthogonal dip-slip motion within the active thrust belt and dextral (right lateral) strike-slip motion along the Main Recent Fault to the northeast of the Zagros Mountains.[14]


Damaged apartment block in Sarpol-e Zahab, Iran
Chart of the aftershocks that followed 11 November main shock

The earthquake occurred near the Iran–Iraq border,[1][15][3][5][1] approximately 220 kilometres (140 mi) northeast of Baghdad.[1][15][3] According to the United States Geological Survey, the earthquake measured 7.3 on the Moment magnitude scale[2] and was caused by movement on a Thrust fault dipping at a shallow angle to the northeast. The epicentre was at a depth of 19.0 km and the maximum perceived intensity was VIII (severe shaking) on the Mercalli intensity scale.[4] It is the strongest earthquake recorded in the region since a 6.1 Mw event in January 1967, which was part of a series of strong earthquakes along the plate boundary in the 1950s and 1960s.[4] The earthquake was felt throughout the Middle East and as far away as Israel, the Arabian Peninsula and Turkey.[16][17][18][8] The Iranian seismological centre registered at least 50 aftershocks within a few hours of the earthquake.[19]


Casualties and damage

The province of Kermanshah was the most affected area, with the cities of Halabja, Iraq and Sarpol-e Zahab being the hardest-hit.[2][15][3][20][5][1]

Ezgeleh was the nearest city to the epicentre of the earthquake.[21] More than half of the Iranian casualties were from Sarpol-e-Zahab and the Ezgeleh District, which have a combined population of over 30,000.[22] Officials announced that schools in Kermanshah and Ilam provinces would be closed following the quake.[23]

At least 510 people were reported to have died and more than 7,000 others were injured.[16][24] In Sarpol-e Zahab, the hospital was damaged and at least 142 people were killed, many who had lived in social housing complexes built by former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.[9][8][19] At least seven people were killed and another 500 injured in neighbouring Iraq, according to officials in Iraqi Kurdistan.[23][25] Further damages were seen as possible due to the threat of landslides induced by the shallow depth of the earthquake.[26] The earthquake left about 70,000 people homeless across 14 Iranian provinces,[9][27] destroying approximately 12,000 homes and damaging another 15,000.[28] Relief camps in Iran distributed 22,000 tents and 52,000 blankets in the days after the earthquake.[28]

In Sarpol-e Zahab, some residents blamed the widespread destruction on poor construction quality and government corruption.[9] It was noted that older buildings remained standing, while many newer blocks collapsed.[9]


Turkey was the first country to offer aid through its Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, announcing that 92 rescue personnel were on standby, together with 4,000 tents and 7,000 blankets.[29]

European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said the bloc was ready to cooperate with Iran in providing emergency relief aid,[29] and Italy's government issued orders to send 12 tonnes of tents, blankets and mobile kitchens on 13 November.[30]

The International Committee of the Red Cross had arrived by 13 November.[30] Sunni charities, such as Iranian Call and Reform Organisation, were providing tents and water.[9]

Iran has turned down an Israeli help offer.[31]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 CNN, Shirzad Bozorgmehr and James Masters,. "Iran-Iraq earthquake is deadliest of 2017". 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "The Iran-Iraq Earthquake May Soon Be the Deadliest of 2017". 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Powerful Iran-Iraq earthquake is deadliest of 2017". 13 November 2017. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 "M 7.3 – 30km S of Halabjah, Iraq". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 12 November 2017. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Moment Iran-Iraq earthquake struck – CNN Video". 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Powerful Earthquake on Iran-Iraq Border Kills Over 410". NBC4 Washington. Retrieved 13 November 2017. 
  7. "Quake death toll in western Iran over 370, some 7,200 injured". Trend News Agency. Retrieved 13 November 2017. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Iran-Iraq earthquake: Deadly tremor hits border region". BBC News. 12 November 2017. Retrieved 12 November 2017. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 "A 7.3-magnitude earthquake on the Iran-Iraq border leaves hundreds dead". The Economist. 13 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017. 
  10. "Northern Iraq rocked by 7.2 magnitude earthquake". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 12 November 2017. 
  11. "Officials raise Iran-Iraq earthquake death toll to at least 530". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 November 2017. 
  12. "Iraqi Red Crescent: Increasing the number of the dead to 10 people because of the earthquake and set up camps to shelter the affected families in Darbandikhan and Halapcha.". ReliefWeb. 2017-11-14. Retrieved 2017-11-15. 
  13. "Iran-Iraq quake is 2017's deadliest". BBC News. 13 November 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017. 
  14. Talebian, M.; Jackson J. (2004). "A reappraisal of earthquake focal mechanisms and active shortening in the Zagros mountains of Iran" (PDF). Geophysics Journal International. Royal Astronomical Society. 156 (3): 506–526. Bibcode:2004GeoJI.156..506T. doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2004.02092.x. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 "The Iran-Iraq Earthquake May Soon Be the Deadliest of 2017". 
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Earthquake, Magnitude 7.3 – IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION – 2017 November 12, 18:18:17 UTC". EMSC-CSEM. Retrieved 13 November 2017. 
  17. "Iran-Iraq border quake kills hundreds". BBC News. 13 November 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017. 
  18. "More than 300 killed as strong quake rocks Iran-Iraq border". The National. Retrieved 13 November 2017. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 Jalabi, Raya; Hafezi, Parisa (12 November 2017). "Strong earthquake hits Iraq and Iran, killing at least 210". Reuters. Retrieved 12 November 2017. 
  20. "The Iran-Iraq Earthquake May Soon Be the Deadliest of 2017". 
  21. Erdbrink, Thomas (November 13, 2017). "Iran-Iraq Earthquake Kills More Than 450". The New York Times. Retrieved November 14, 2017. 
  22. "Over 400 dead after Iran-Iraq earthquake". Sky News. November 14, 2017. Retrieved November 14, 2017. 
  23. 23.0 23.1 "Powerful earthquake strike the Iraq-Iran border, at least 123 dead". BNO News. Retrieved 12 November 2017. 
  24. "زلزله‌ در استان کرمانشاه باعث مرگ دهها نفر شده است" (in Persian). BBC News. 12 November 2017. Retrieved 12 November 2017. 
  25. "Iran-Iraq earthquake: What happened and why". Al Jazeera English. 13 November 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017. 
  26. "M7.3 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION on November 12th 2017 at 18:18 UTC". www.emsc-csem.org. Retrieved 14 November 2017. 
  27. "The Powerful Earthquake Along the Iran-Iraq Border Has Killed More Than 400 People". Time. 13 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017. 
  28. 28.0 28.1 "30,000 homes damaged, destroyed by Iran quake". Gulf News. Agence France-Presse. 14 November 2017. Retrieved 15 November 2017. 
  29. 29.0 29.1 "Iran-Iraq earthquake: What happened and why". www.aljazeera.com. 
  30. 30.0 30.1 "The Latest: Italy sends aid after Iran earthquake". 
  31. "Iran rejects Netanyahu's offer to help quake victims: Israeli media". hurriyetdailynews. 

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