World Bulletin / News Desk
“I wish speedy recovery to people of Iraq and Iran after an earthquake that happened in Northern Iraq yesterday night, [and] I offer my condolences,” said Erdogan ahead of his departure to Russian city of Sochi where he would hold talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
Erdogan said Turkish aid agencies, including Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) and Red Crescent, were conducting search and rescue efforts in the affected region.
“As of now, 50 trucks of aid convoy have crossed into Iraq through Habur [border gate] in coordination with the AFAD and the Red Crescent,” Erdogan said.
The 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit around 32 kilometers (20 miles) southwest of the Iraqi city of Halabja at 9.15 p.m. Iraqi time (1815GMT), the U.S. Geological Survey said.
Iranian Fars news agency reported at least 372 people dead and around 6,000 others injured, with most casualties taking place in the city of Kermanshah. The death toll is expected to rise.
Iraqi Interior Ministry said seven people were killed and 321 injured in northern Iraq.