A strong 7.3-magnitude earthquake has rattled the northern border region between Iran and Iraq, killing scores
.At least 61 people died in western Iran, state media said, with four more reported dead in Iraq. The death toll is likely to rise.
The earthquake sparked panic, with residents fleeing their homes for the streets.
Mosques in the Iraqi capital Baghdad have been saying prayers through loudspeakers.
Iranian news channel IRINN said rescue teams have been despatched to western parts of the country.
“Damage has been reported in at least eight villages,” Morteza Salim, the head of Iran’s Red Crescent Organisation, told the channel.
“Some other villages have suffered power cuts and their telecommunications system has also been disturbed.”
The earthquake was felt in Turkey and Israel too.
It struck in the evening local time south of the Iraqi town of Halabja at a depth of 33.9 km (21 miles), the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.