Iranian media outlets say at least 180 dead in 6.4 magnitude earthquake in northwest Iran
By Dudi Cohen and Reuters
Two strong earthquakes struck northwest Iran on Saturday, killing at least 180 people and injuring 1,300, Iranian media said.
The Iranian Students’ News Agency quoted the head of the government’s emergency centre, Gholamreza Masoumi, as announcing the casualty figures.
A local official in the area told ISNA that six villages had been completely destroyed and 60 villages had been 50 to 70% destroyed.
The US Geological Survey measured the first quake at 6.4 magnitude and said it struck 60 km (37 miles) northeast of the city of Tabriz at a depth of 9.9 km (6.2 miles). A second quake measuring 6.3 struck 49 km (30 miles) northeast of Tabriz 11 minutes later at a similar depth.
The second quake struck near the town of Varzgan, Fars news agency said. “The quake was so intense that people poured into the streets through fear,” it said.
A local provincial official urged people in the region to stay outdoors during the night for fear of aftershocks, according to the official IRNA news agency. By early evening, ISNA said there had been at least 10 aftershocks.
Iran is straddled by several major fault lines and has suffered several devastating earthquakes in recent times, the last which struck the city of Bam in 2003, killing more than 25,000 people.
View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4267214,00.html