The death toll from a magnitude-7.3 earthquake that rocked the border region between Iraq and Iran on Sunday night has topped 450, with thousands more in the two countries injured, local media and officials said Monday.
The quake was centered in a mountainous area 32 kilometers south of Halabja, northeastern Iraq, at a depth of 23.2 km, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The hardest hit area was Iran's western province of Kermanshah. Many people appear to have been buried alive as the temblor flattened buildings.
At least 445 people died and around 7,100 were injured in Iran, while at least seven died and more than 300 were injured in Iraq.
The death toll could increase as rescue workers have yet to reach some affected areas with roads hit by landslides. A local official in Iran said the number of evacuees could top 70,000.
A blackout hit a large area in western Iran after the quake, while strong aftershocks have forced people who lost houses to sleep outdoors.
In Sarpol-e Zahab, about 50 km south of the epicenter, houses made of bricks were destroyed, while people were seen sitting in the streets.
The temblor was also felt in Erbil, a major city in the Kurdish region, and Iraq's capital Baghdad, according to local media reports.