Death toll from 7.3 earthquake in Iran rises to 530

Dept of Foreign Affairs says Irish citizens should avoid affected areas

Death toll from 7.3 earthquake in Iran rises to 530

A man carries his goods after an earthquake in Sarpol-e Zahab city, western Iran | Image: Ahmad Halabisaz/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

The number of people killed in a massive earthquake in the border region of Iran and Iraq has risen to 530.

Iranian news agency IRNA says at some 7,817 people are also injured.

The earthquake was centred about 19 miles outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja at about 6.20pm Irish time on Sunday.

It was just 15 miles deep and was felt for about 20 seconds in Baghdad - and was also felt in Turkey, Kuwait and Israel.

The quake triggered landslides in the mountainous region along the Iran-Iraq border, also destroying buildings, shattering windows and sending people running for safety.

In Iraq, the most extensive damage was seen in the town of Darbandikhan, which is in the Kurdish region and around 47 miles east of the city of Sulaymaniyah.

The Department of Foreign Affairs say any Irish citizens in Iran should avoid affected areas and follow the instructions of local authorities.

Irish citizens who need assistance can contact the department in Dublin on 00-353-1-408-2000 or the Irish embassy in Ankara, which is also accredited to Iran, on 0090-312-459-1000.