0620 GMT May 21, 2018
Five people suffered minor injuries in Iran, state television reported.
The US Geological Survey said seven of the quakes struck near the Iraqi city of Mandali, 120 kilometers (75 miles) northeast of the Iraqi capital. Mandali is right on the border between the two nations. The eighth hit near Mehran in western Iran, about 90 kilometers (55 miles) southeast of Mandali along the sparsely populated Zagros Mountains.
All the earthquakes struck within an hour of each other, beginning at 06:59 GMT. Six had a preliminary magnitude of at least 5, while two registered at magnitude 4. Scientists consider earthquakes of magnitude 5 as moderate.
Iranian authorities offered similar figures for the earthquakes on state television.
Iranians in the area rushed into the streets as the temblors hit. In Baghdad, people felt a quake shake the Iraqi capital, followed by what felt like aftershocks.
All the earthquakes struck at a depth of 10 kilometers (six miles), according to the USGS. Earthquakes at magnitude 5 can cause considerable damage. The temblors also all were very shallow, which causes more ground shaking and potential damage, particularly in places without strict building codes.
On November 12, a major 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck the same region, killing over 620 people and injuring thousands in Iran alone. In Iraq, nine people were killed and 550 were injured, all in the country’s northern Kurdish region.
The November earthquake hit hardest in the Kurdish town of Sar Pol-e Zahab in the western Iranian province of Kermanshah, which is only 80 kilometers (50 miles) from where most of Thursday’s earthquakes struck.
Iran sits on major fault lines and is prone to near-daily earthquakes. In 2003, a 6.6 magnitude quake flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people.
Earlier on Thursday, the USGS said a 4.9-magnitude quake hit Iran’s southern province of Kerman before dawn, while another 4.6-magnitude temblor struck Wednesday night in Kermanshah Province.