At 21:18 local time (18:18 UTC) northwest Iraq/northern Iran experienced an earthquake in the magnitude of approximately 7.2 – 7.5, according to European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC). The epicenter of this earthquake is located 32kms from the city of Halabja. The earthquake was felt across Iraq, including in the cities of Baghdad, Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, Kirkuk and Basra.
Expected humanitarian impact:
Although no fatalities in Iraq are reported as of 23:30 local time, a significant humanitarian impact may be likely given the high population density, the severity of the earthquake, and the vulnerability of people in this area.
According to the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS), approximately 1,840,000 people live with within 100km of the epicenter of this earthquake in both countries. According to local media one hour after the quake, 16 injuries are reported in Khanaqin and in Darbandikhan district in Sulaymaniyah Governorate over 50 injuries are reported. As assessment teams arrive to assess the damage, more injuries and possibly fatalities are expected.
Humanitarian response and coordination:
Humanitarian partners in Iraq are standing by to assist the Government of Iraq, should a humanitarian response be required. Supplies of food, health items, medicines, shelter kits and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) assistance are already located in country, and can be moved into storage sites and distribution points if necessary. A United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination team will be put on alert for immediate deployment to the affected areas.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.