At least 396 people have been killed and thousands more injured according to recent news reports.

Emergency services warn the death toll is likely to rise as rescuers continue searching for survivors.

The earthquake, which hit at 9:18 pm local time, was centred about 19 miles outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja.

The town of Sarpol-e Zahab in Iran (about 10 miles from the Iraq border) has been worst affected by the quake, where over 200 people have reportedly died.

70,000 people are in need of emergency shelter according to the Iranian Red Crescent.

Islamic Relief is monitoring the situation. It is actively engaged in the co-ordination meetings in Iraq and has a team ready to assess the situation.

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