Most of the deaths were reported in Iran's Kermanshah province: AFP/GETTY IMAGES
At least 210 people were killed in Iran and Iraq on Sunday when a powerful magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit the region, state media in the two countries said, as rescuers searched for dozens trapped under rubble.
At least 207 people were killed in Iran, Behnam Saeedi, a spokesman for Iran’s National Disaster Management Organization, said on the state television. More than 1,700 were injured, he said.
Officials expected the casualty toll to rise when search and rescue teams reached remote areas of Iran, reports Reuters.
A quake registering a magnitude between 7 and 7.9 can inflict widespread and heavy damage. Moreover, many houses in rural areas of Iran are made of mud bricks that can crumble easily in a quake.
The earthquake was felt in several provinces of Iran but the hardest hit province was Kermanshah, which announced three days of mourning.
More than 142 of the victims were in Sarpol-e Zahab county in Kermanshah, about 15 km (10 miles) from the Iraq border.
The main hospital of the capital of the county was severely damaged and could not treat hundreds of injured people who were taken there, the head of the Iranian emergency services, Pirhossein Koulivand said.