Strong earth­quake kills seven in Iran

The Pak Banker - - International -

TEHRAN: A mag­ni­tude 6.5 earth­quake struck south­east­ern Iran late Mon­day, killing at least seven peo­ple and in­jur­ing 33 oth­ers, Ira­nian state TV re­ported.

The re­port said the strong quake hit Hos­sein­abad, a small town of a few hun­dred res­i­dents in a sparsely pop­u­lated Chah Malek re­gion of south­east­ern Iran, at 22:12 lo­cal time (18:42 GMT).

Mo­ham­mad Barzang, the gover­nor of Rigan, an­other small town in the stricken area, said col­lapsed houses in three re­mote vil­lages had buried dozens un­der the rub­ble. He said res­cue teams dis­patched to the area man­aged to save many of those trapped.

Barzang said the teams were still work­ing Tues­day to pull oth­ers out of the rub­ble but that there was no in­di­ca­tions the death toll would rise dra­mat­i­cally.

The area is not far from the his­tor­i­cal city of Bam, site of a dev­as­tat­ing 2003 earth­quake of sim­i­lar strength that killed more than 26,000 peo­ple.

Tele­phone con­tacts to the stricken area have been cut off, the TV re­ported. It said the epi­cen­ter was at a depth of 3 miles (5 kilo­me­ters), about 60 miles (100 kilo­me­ters) from Bam.

State TV re­ported Tues­day that as many as 25 af­ter­shocks rocked the re­gion fol­low­ing the quake late Mon­day, in­clud­ing one mag­ni­tude 5 tremor.

A se­nior govern­ment of­fi­cial, Javad Ka­mali, was quoted by the of­fi­cial IRNA news agency as say­ing Tues­day that the quake also caused se­ri­ous dam­age to build­ings and the in­fra­struc­ture of re­gion. Ka­mali said re­lief teams have been dis­patched to the stricken ar­eas.

"There are ef­forts un­der way to re­open some hard-tore­ach roads blocked by the quake," he said.

Even mod­er­ate quakes have killed thou­sands of peo­ple in the past in the Ira­nian coun­try­side, where houses are of­ten built of earthen bricks.

Iran is lo­cated on seis­mic fault lines and is prone to earth­quakes. It ex­pe­ri­ences at least one slight earth­quake ev­ery day on av­er­age. -Ap

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