(Baghdad, 13 November 2017): An earthquake measuring a magnitude of 7.3 on the Richter scale struck last night approximately 32kms from the city of Halabja, Iraq. The earthquake was felt across Iraq, including in the cities of Baghdad, Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, Kirkuk and Basra.
“There have been reports of six fatalities and upward of 500 casualties,” said Lise Grande, Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq. We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and we extend our sincerest condolences to all of the people impacted by this tragedy.”
"Our priority right now is to help local authorities respond as quickly as possible," said Ms. Grande. “An assessment team has just arrived in Darbandikhan, one of the areas worst impacted by this quake. We’ve also received a request from the Government to dispatch a United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team from Geneva. This is a highly specialised team that will help to assess conditions and coordinate the response."
"This morning, the World Health Organization (WHO) has sent an Immediate Response Team and two ambulances to Sulaymaniyah Hospital, the primary hospital in the area, along with trauma and surgical kits,” said Ms Grande.
"The key is to act quickly so we can help prevent any further loss of life.”
For further information, please contact:
Damian Rance, Head of Communications, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Iraq, (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.