Teams of Iranian rescuers dug through rubble in a hunt for survivors on Monday after a major earthquake struck the Iran-Iraq border region, killing at least 421 people and injuring thousands.

The 7.3-magnitude quake rocked a border area 30 kilometres southwest of Halabja in Iraqi Kurdistan at around 9:20pm on Sunday, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

Many people would have been at home when the quake hit in Iran’s western province of Kermanshah, where authorities said it killed at least 413 people and injured 6,700.

Across the border in more sparsely populated areas of Iraq, the health ministry said eight people had died and several hundred were injured.

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