Iran: at least five dead in magnitude 6 earthquake

At least five people were killed and dozens more injured in a shallow magnitude 6 earthquake that rocked southern Iran early on Saturday, according to an initial report by state news agency Irna.

According to state television, 49 people were injured in three consecutive earthquakes that rocked the southern province of Hormozgan, including the hardest hit village of Sayeh Khosh.

According to the US Institute of Seismology (USGS), the first earthquake occurred around 02:00 local time (21:30 GMT) with a magnitude of 6 at a depth of 16 km.

It was followed by two more aftershocks, two hours later, of magnitude 5.7 and 6 at a depth of 10 km.

According to television footage, several residential buildings collapsed in Say Hoshe and the city was plunged into darkness due to a power outage.

In Bandar Abbas, the provincial capital of half a million people, people have been sleeping on the streets after the earthquake and long lines at gas stations, state television reported.

According to the same source, electricity was cut off in almost 30 villages in the affected areas.

Search and rescue operations are almost completed, the country’s Red Crescent said, citing television.

“We are focused on receiving the victims of the earthquake,” provincial governor Mehdi Dusti said on television, adding that 50% of Sayeh Khosh village had been destroyed.

Located on the edge of several tectonic plates, Iran is an area of ​​high seismic activity.

In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake partially destroyed the city of Bam (southeast) and killed at least 31,000 people.

But the deadliest earthquake in Iran was in 1990, with a magnitude of 7.4, which killed 40,000 people in the north of the country.