Huge quake hits Iran

2013-04-16 16:19

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An Iranian provincial governor said today there were no deaths in Iran due to an earthquake that struck a region near the Pakistani border.

"Fortunately, the earthquake resulted in no fatalities," Hatam Narouyi, the governor of Sistan and Baluchistan where the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit, told the ISNA agency.

Five people were killed in southwestern Pakistan.

Tremors from the 7.8 magnitude quake were also felt as far away as India and Gulf states.

The quake was centred in a remote desert and mountain region which is not densely populated.

Assessing the damage was difficult due to the collapse in the communications network.

“It was the biggest earthquake in Iran in 40 years and we are expecting hundreds of dead,” an Iranian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters.

People in the city of Zahedan poured into the streets when the earthquake struck, Iran’s Fars news agency reported. It also said Saravan city had not suffered serious damage.

The Iranian Red Crescent’s Mahmoud Mozaffar told state television that rescue and evaluation teams have been sent to the afflicted area.

The quake also shook tall buildings in India’s capital, New Delhi, sending people running into the streets. People also evacuated buildings in Qatar and Dubai.

“I was working and my work station was shaking,” said Viidhu Sekhri (35) an underwriter at a New Delhi insurance company. “Then it was a bit shaky so we just rushed outside.”

Earlier in the day, two smaller tremors were felt in India’s Himalayan region close to the Chinese border.

An official at India’s disaster management authority said the tremors felt in New Delhi and across northern India were because of the earthquake in Iran.

The Iranian Students News Agency quoted an official at the Emergency Medical Center at the Sistan and Baluchistan Medical University saying three people had been injured.

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