Iran jolted by moderate, light earthquakes; injures nearly 130

Workers clear debris from the earthquake damaged Imam Khomeini hospital in the town of Eslamabad, western Iran. (File photo: AP)

A magnitude 5.9 earthquake hit western Iran on Sunday, injuring at least 128 people, hours after two quakes struck Hormozgan province in the south, state television reported.

Houshang Bazvand, governor of the western province of Kermanshah, said that most of the 128 who received treatment did not require hospitalisation, the television station added.

State media said that two earlier earthquakes, with magnitudes of 4.7 and 5.7, had damaged buildings in a few villages without causing casualties.

Morteza Salimi, head of rescue at Iran’s Red Crescent, said that damage from the two earlier quakes appeared to be light. “Reports indicate that some walls have collapsed, but extensive damage has not been reported,” Salimi told official news agency IRNA.
 

The first temblor, measuring a magnitude of 4.6 rocked the town of Ruydar, in Hormozgan province, earlier in the day. The town is located some 940 kilometers south of the capital, Tehran.

It was followed shortly after by a 5.4 magnitude aftershock, according to the United States Geological Survey. Iran’s semi-official news agency had initially reported the magnitude at 5.7.

In the afternoon, a 5.9 magnitude quake rocked an area in western Iran near the border with Iraq in Kermanshah province.

All three earthquakes were shallow at under 10 kilometers, or 6 miles, deep, making them likelier to cause damage than casualties.

The head of the country’s agency that handles responses to emergencies and natural disasters, Pirhossein Kolivand, told state television helicopters were surveying the mountainous region, and that hospitals in nearby cities and emergency centers were standing by in case more injured people were found.

Iran sits on major fault lines and is prone to regular earthquakes. A magnitude 7.2 quake hit western Iran in November, killing more than 600. In 2003, a 6.6 magnitude quake flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:50 - GMT 06:50
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