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Israel rattled as 7.2-magnitude natural disaster strikes northeast Iraq

USGSThe earthquake struck close to Iraq's eastern border with Iran

A strong quake hit large parts of northern Iraq and the capital Baghdad on Sunday, and also caused damage in villages across the border in Iran where state TV said at least six people had been killed.

An natural disaster with a preliminary magnitude of 7.4 jolted northern Iraq Sunday.

Local media reported that eight villages in Iran had been damaged by the quake and rescue teams had been sent to those areas.

The casualties in Darbandikhan could rise as some houses have collapsed and it is not clear yet whether there were people buried under the debris, Nasih Mala Hassan, Mayor of Darbandikhan, was quoted as saying.

As this is a breaking story, more news will be updated as made available.

Bam in the country's southeastern province of Kerman witnessed a strong quake in December 2003 which killed 31,000 people.

The quake hit at 9:18pm local time at a depth of 33 kilometres, 200km north east of Baghdad.

The temblor was centred 32km southwest of Halabja, Iraq, near the northeastern border with Iran, the US Geological Survey said.

It was felt for about 20 seconds in Baghdad, and sometimes for longer in other provinces of Iraq.

At least four people died and dozens were wounded in Iraq, according to the Kurdistan Regional Government's Health Minister Rekawt Hama Rasheed.

Tremors could be felt as far away as in the UAE after a 7.3 magnitude quake struck Northern Iraq.