Authorities say more than 400 people have been killed and more than 7,000 injured after a magnitude 7.3 earthquake rocked the border between Iraq and Iran.
A search for survivors using sniffing dogs and heat sensors was underway across affected areas in Iran and Iraq after the quake hit at 9:18 p.m. local time.
The head of the Iranian Red Crescent relief and rescue organization said more than 70,000 people need emergency shelter. Iran’s seismological center recorded at least 153 aftershocks and said more can be expected.
“I was sitting with my kids having dinner and suddenly the building was just dancing in the air,” Majida Ameer told Reuters. “I thought at first that it was a huge bomb. But then I heard everyone around me screaming: ‘Earthquake!'”
Another survivor said his children were sleeping when the “house started to collapse.”
“I took them and ran to the street,” Hojjat Gharibian said. “We spent hours in the street until aid workers moved us into a school building.”
President Hassan Rouhani was expected to visit the Kermanshah province in western Iran where most of the deaths occurred.
The earthquake is the world’s deadliest quake of the year.