Gulf Today

Magnitude 5.9 earthquake hits southern Iran


TEHRAN: A magnitude 5.9 earthquake on Sunday struck Iran’s southern province of Bushehr, where a nuclear power plant is located, but there were no immediate reports of major damage, state television said.

The epicentre of the quake was the town of Rig and hospitals in nearby cities and provinces were on alert, with rescue teams and 50 ambulances sent to the area, a regional official told state TV.

Local official Gholamreza Mehrjou told state TV that water, electricit­y and internet have been restored to villages in the quake-hit area and people who had taken to the streets in fear of more tremors “have returned to their homes.”

An Iranian government official told Reuters there were no reports of damage at the Bushehr nuclear complex on Iran’s Gulf coast.

The quake was centred 100 km from the plant and was relatively shallow - only 10 km deep, according to Iranian media - which would have amplified the shaking.

Iranian media reported 16 atershocks and posted pictures that showed collapsed mud brick walls in some villages.

Five people were injured in Gonaveh and were being taken to hospital, Saeed Kashmiri, head of the Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, was quoted as saying by state media.

Crisscross­ed by major fault lines, the Islamic

Republic is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world.

In 2003 a magnitude 6.6 quake in Kerman province killed 31,000 people and flatened the ancient city of Bam.meanwhile, Iran has asked Interpol to help arrest a suspect in a sabotage atack on its Natanz nuclear facility which it blames on Israel, a local newspaper reported on Sunday.national television has published a photo and identified the man as 43-year-old Reza Karimi, saying the intelligen­ce ministry had establishe­d his role in last week’s “sabotage” at Natanz.

The broadcaste­r said the suspect had “fled the country before the incident” and that “legal procedures to arrest and return him to the country are currently underway.”

Neither state TV nor other media provided further details on the suspect. The intelligen­ce ministry has not issued an official statement.

The ultraconse­rvative Kayhan daily reported in its Sunday edition that “intelligen­ce and judicial authoritie­s” are engaged in the process.

It added that “ater his identity was establishe­d, necessary measures were taken through Interpol to arrest and return” the suspect.

Kayhan did not specify what form of Interpol assistance had been requested.

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