Iraq: earthquake - Information bulletin

This bulletin is being issued for information only, and reflects the current situation and details that are currently available.

The situation

On 12 November 2017 at 21:18 local time the northeast areas in Iraq were shaken by an earthquake in the magnitude of 7.2 – 7.5, according to European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC). The epicentre of this earthquake is located 32 km south from the city of Halabja (UTC 34.886°N 45.941°E).

The Iraqi Red Crescent Society(IRCS) has announced the increase in the numbers of the earthquake victims that hit the cities of Iraq to 10 dead and more than 500 injured people. Most of them are from Sulaymaniyah governorate areas, and Kalar, Darbandikhan, Khanaqin and Halabja. More casualties are expected due to aftershocks that occurred on the night of 13 November 2017.

IRCS relief teams have recorded massive damages to private and public property in affected cities, especially in Sulaymaniyah governorate.

Potential Threats

The Darbandikhan Dam, a multi-purpose embankment on the Diyala river, is being assessed for damage today by the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR), as local sources report that the dam was impacted by the landslides that that pushed heavy rocks and rubble onto the dam’s spillway. Residents downstream of the dam were advised by authorities to be vigilant and ready for evacuation, should an emergency alert be issued.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

The IRCS Emergency Response Team was the first humanitarian organisation to respond immediately after the earthquake and coordinate with local public authorities and communities to provide the needed aid to the affected communities.

The IRCS volunteers in northern Iraq are working around the clock in the affected areas and are providing urgent search and rescue, first aid and relief items to victims of the devastating earthquake.
IRCS teams are currently assessing the situation and will communicate further needs. The table below details actions to date.