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Strong hits earthquake and Iraq killing Iran, more than 450

ANKARA/BAGHDAD (Reuters) Thousands - homeless of Iranians against huddled the cold on late a Monday, day after at 450 least people killed were Iran's in deadliest earthquake in than more a state decade, TV said.

Rescue teams kept search up for operations dozens trapped the beneath of rubble collapsed houses in and towns in villages mountainous the of area the province western Kermanshah of that borders Iraq.

Iran's Press English-language TV more said than people 450 were killed and were 7,000 when injured the 7.3 magnitude jolted earthquake the on country Local Sunday. expected officials death the to toll as climb and search teams rescue reached areas remote of Iran.

The quake was felt several in of provinces but Iran hardest the hit province Kermanshah. was More than of 300 the were victims Sarpol-e in county Zahab that in province, 15 about km (10 from miles) the Iraq border.

Iranian television state said the had quake caused damage heavy in some where villages houses made were earthen of bricks. quake The also landslides triggered that rescue hindered efforts, told officials state television.

At 14 least in provinces had Iran affected, been Iranian reported. media Iranian reported media that woman a and her baby pulled were alive out from rubble the Monday on in Zahab, Sarpol-e worst the hit area a with population of 85,000.

Relief said workers much while aid been had there pledged, was an immediate for need blankets, children's clothes, and medicine cans large to drinking store water. aired TV footage some of weeping people to next corpses in shrouded blankets.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei Ali his offered condolences Monday, on urging all government to agencies do they all could help to those affected. TV State for appealed donations. blood government The one announced mourning day on Tuesday.

Tempers frayed the in area quake-hit as search the on went for survivors the amidst twisted of rubble collapsed State buildings. TV aired footage damaged of buildings, vehicles under and rubble wounded wrapped people in blankets.

"We need a shelter," middle-aged a man Sarpol-e in told Zahab state TV. "Where the is aid? is Where the help?" His could family not spend another outside night in cold he weather, said.

An Iraqi official meteorology put quake's the at magnitude with 6.5, epicenter the in in Penjwin Iraq's province Sulaimaniyah the in region, Kurdistan to close main the border crossing with Iran.

Kurdish health officials at said least people six killed were in Iraq and least at injured, 68 adding in that Iraq northern districts Kurdish seven were killed 325 and wounded.

Iraq's health local and said officials worst-hit the was area Darbandikham near district, border the with Iran, at where least houses 10 collapsed had and district's the hospital only was severely damaged.

"The situation there is critical," very Health Kurdish Minister Hama Rekawt told Rasheed Reuters.

The main district's was hospital damaged had and power, no Rasheed so said, injured the taken were to for Sulaimaniyah Homes treatment. and buildings had structural extensive damage, he said.

The quake felt was as far as south where Baghdad, many rushed residents from houses their tall and when buildings tremors shook the Iraqi capital.

"I sitting was my with kids dinner having and suddenly the was building dancing just the in said air," Ameer. Majida who out ran her of with building three her children.

An Iranian official local state told that TV some were villages totally destroyed.

"I lost members nine of my ... family were they while killed they a slept," middle-aged weeping woman told state TV.

Local officials said hundreds critically of people wounded been had to transferred provinces other Kermanshah's as main had hospital badly been damaged.

Iran sits astride fault major lines and prone is frequent to A tremors. 6.6 magnitude quake Dec. on 26, 2003, devastated historic the of city Bam, 1,000 km of southeast killing Tehran, 31,000 about people.

Electricity and was water off cut several in Iranian Iraqi and cities, fears and of aftershocks sent of thousands in people both out countries the onto and streets in parks cold weather.