Iran: 1 killed, dozens hurt in 7.7 quake

2013-04-17 13:12
Iranian residents inspect damages after an earthquake hit the city of Saravan, in south-eastern Iran. (Hamid Sadhegi, AFP)

Iranian residents inspect damages after an earthquake hit the city of Saravan, in south-eastern Iran. (Hamid Sadhegi, AFP)

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Tehran - A huge earthquake that struck Iran's rural southeast region killed one woman and injured more than two dozen other people, media reports Wednesday cited officials as saying.

"A woman was killed by a mountain landslide following the quake," Alireza Shahraki, governor of Khash city, was quoted by ISNA news agency as saying.

According to other Iranian officials cited by the media, Tuesday's 7.7 magnitude quake in the south-eastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan also left 27 people injured while more than 20 villages were damaged.

At least eight aftershocks have been recorded, the strongest measuring 5.6 magnitude.

In neighbouring Pakistan, the quake killed at least 40 and brought down hundreds of mud-built homes.

The powerful tremor also shook the ground and caused panic as far afield as Kuwait and the Indian capital New Delhi. Thousands of people evacuated towering residential and office buildings in Dubai.

US seismologists said the quake struck at 15:14 Iranian time (1044 GMT) with its epicentre around 80km east of Khash.

It came a week after an earthquake struck near Iran's Gulf port city of Bushehr, killing at least 30 people and injuring 800.

Iran sits astride several major fault lines and is prone to frequent earthquakes, some of which have been devastating.

A double earthquake, one measuring 6.2 and the other 6.0, struck northwest Iran last August, killing more than 300 people and injuring 3 000.

In December 2003, a massive quake struck the southern city of Bam. It killed 26 271 people - about a quarter of the population - and destroyed the city's ancient mud-built citadel.

- SAPA
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