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BEIRUT — The death toll in a powerful earthquake that jolted the Iran-Iraq border on Sunday night has risen to more than 400, according to Iranian state media reports, and it was expected to climb further.
A spokesman for Iran's crisis management headquarters told state TV on Monday that 407 people were killed and 7,156 were injured, mainly in the country's western provinces, after a 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck the Iraqi side of the border. It sent seismic shock waves as far as Lebanon, Israel and Turkey. Seven people were killed in Iraq, officials there said.
The majority of the casualties appeared to be in Iran's Kermanshah province, which borders Iraq. Videos and images from the town of Sarpol-e Zahab, about 10 miles from the border, showed partially collapsed buildings and residents wrapped in blankets in the streets. One photograph distributed by state media showed a woman clutching what appeared to be a dead child covered in a white shroud.
According to local media reports, emergency personnel worked through the night to rescue victims from the rubble. Power outages were reported across western Iran, which is home to some of the country's poorest regions.
In Iraq, the Health Ministry said seven people died and 535 were injured, with the damage and casualties concentrated in the northern Kurdish region.
"Some of the old buildings fell apart and injured more than 60 people," said Mulla Nasih Hassan, mayor of Darbandikhan, near the Iranian border. He said some of the injured were in critical condition and had been moved to hospitals in the city of Sulaymaniyah.
"Almost all the people of Darbandikhan spent the night outside in the open, fearing another quake," Hassan said.
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, expressed condolences Monday and ordered government agencies, including the military and the Revolutionary Guard Corps, to assist with rescue and humanitarian efforts.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also dispatched a delegation led by the interior minister to assess the damage in Kermanshah, about 250 miles from the capital, Tehran. He was expected to visit affected areas on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.
Iran sits atop major fault lines and has suffered devastating earthquakes. In 2003, the historic city of Bam, in southeastern Iran, was destroyed by an earthquake that killed more than 26,000 people.
Mustafa Salim in Baghdad contributed to this report.
Erin Cunningham is an Istanbul-based correspondent for The Washington Post, covering conflict and political turmoil across the Middle East. She previously was a correspondent at the paper's bureau in Cairo, and has reported on wars in Afghanistan, Gaza, Libya and Iraq.
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