A magnitude 7.2 earthquake rattled northeast Iraq near the border with Iran on Sunday, killing at least 140 people, with tremors reported in parts of central Israel.
The US Geological Survey said the temblor was centered 30 kilometers (19 miles) southwest of Halabja, near the northeastern border with Iran.
— USGSted (@USGSted) November 12, 2017
Iranian state media initially reported seven people had died in the quake, but later raised the toll to at least 140.
State television had previously reported six dead in Qasr-e Shirin, close to the Iraqi border, around 40 kilometers southwest of Azgaleh.
Both agencies reported 25 people had been wounded. Those estimated have now beet put at more than 800.
Some Israelis, especially those living on high floors, from Haifa in north to Beersheba and Ofakim in the south and along the coast, including Tel Aviv, reported feeling the tremor.
Several people posted videos of swaying light fixtures to social media.
“I felt like I was on a boat, I thought it was vertigo. Then the building’s WhatsApp group filled with messages from people who also felt the tremor,” Elad Hopper, who lives in a high-rise building in Hod Hasharon, told the Ynet news site.
BREAKING: Powerful earthquake strikes the Iraq-Iran border. It was felt as far as Israel. This is footage from an Israeli household pic.twitter.com/uwdEDkGGat
— Shulem Stern (@ShulemStern) November 12, 2017
There were no reports of damage in Israel.
The quake struck the mountainous area of Sulaimaniyah province at 8:18 p.m. Israel time at a depth of 25 kilometers (15 miles), the USGS said.
It was felt for about 20 seconds in Baghdad, and sometimes for longer in other provinces of Iraq, AFP journalists said.
In the province of Sulaimaniyah, located in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, residents ran out onto the streets at the time of the quake and some minor property damage was recorded, an AFP reporter said.
In Iran, ISNA said the earthquake was felt in several cities in the west of the country including Tabriz.
The quake took place along a 1,500 kilometer fault line between the Arabia and Eurasia tectonic plates, a belt extending through western Iran and into northeastern Iraq, the US Geological Survey said.
The quake was also felt in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.
In southeastern Turkey, the earthquake was felt “from Malatya to Van,” an AFP correspondent said. In the town of Diyarbakir, residents also left their homes before returning.
Israel is situated along the Syrian-African rift, a tear in the earth’s crust running the length of the border separating Israel and Jordan, and is part of the Great Rift Valley, which extends from northern Syria to Mozambique.
Experts have warned a large earthquake could strike Israel in the near future, and the government has been funding projects for buildings to be bolstered against tremors.
The last major earthquake to hit the Israel region was in 1927 — a 6.2-magnitude tremor that killed 500 people and injured another 700.