Magnitude 6.2 earthquake shakes eastern Iran

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 01.12.2017 00:00
Updated 01.12.2017 09:03

An earthquake of magnitude 6.2 shook eastern Iran early Friday, the Geological Research Centre Potsdam, an earthquake research center, reported.

Iranian state television said the temblor had a magnitude of 6.1.

The epicenter of the quake, which struck at 0232 GMT, was just north of the city of Kerman at a depth of around 10 kilometers.

The quake comes three weeks after an earthquake struck the border region between Iran and Iraq, killing more than 400 people.

"For the moment, no deaths have been reported but there has been destruction in several villages," Hossein-Ali Mehrabizadeh, an official with the crisis unit in Kerman, told state television.

With the tremors hitting around 60 kilometers (35 miles) north of Kerman, USGS modeling predicted a low chance of widespread loss to life or property.

But residents of the city came out into the street as the quake struck, and motorists were seen rushing to stock up on petrol, according to local media.

Kerman's crisis center was activated, and rescue teams from the Red Cross and local authorities headed to affected areas for preliminary evaluations, a local official told state television.

The University of Tehran's seismology center gave slightly different figures, announcing an earthquake of 6.1, followed by aftershocks of 5.1 and 4.

The latest tremors come just over two weeks after a 7.3 quake killed more than 500 people in western Kermanshah province, close to the border with neighboring Iraq.

Iran sits on top of where two major tectonic plates meet and sees frequent seismic activity.

Friday's quake hit around 200 kilometers northwest of the ancient city of Bam, which was decimated by a catastrophic earthquake in 2003 that killed at least 31,000 people.

In 1990, a 7.4-magnitude quake in northern Iran killed 40,000 people, injured 300,000 and left half a million homeless, reducing dozens of towns and nearly 2,000 villages to rubble.

Iran has experienced at least two other major disasters in recent years -- one in 2005 that killed more than 600 people and another in 2012 that left some 300 dead.

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