More than 300,000 residents have fled Mosul after the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militia reportedly seized Iraq's second-largest city, officials have said.
Rizgar Moustafa, the district governor of Khabat in northern Iraq, told Anadolu Agency that the number of people taking shelter in nearby Irbil reached 100,000 in the last two days, adding that many other people are being sheltered in Kirkuk and Duhok provinces.
The fleeing Mosul residents are being allowed to enter Irbil after coming to a security checkpoint in the Khabat district of the city.
Moustafa said that people were being allowed into the city center after Kurdish peshmerga troops and public order forces controlled entry. People are continuing to come to Khabat from Mosul, Moustafa added.
Security forces are worried about being unable to serve people as required as there were too many civilians seeking shelter, the official claimed.
"There is fear in people's eyes coming from Mosul. Their primary needs are water and food. Our relief organizations distributed water," Moustafa said. "All people in Irbil are making an effort for their brothers from Mosul."
A camp which is being established by the Irbil governorate and UN officials for families is expected to be completed on Thursday.
Mosul has been home to clashes between Iraqi security forces and ISIL militants since Friday, which has left scores of people dead.
Outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said on Tuesday that Iraq had been placed on "maximum alert".
Iraq's parliament will also hold an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss ongoing "security chaos" in Mosul and across the country.