6 killed, 350 injured in magnitude 5.9 quake hitting NW Iran
At least 6 people have been killed and 350 others injured in a magnitude 5.9 earthquake hitting Iran’s Northwestern Province of East Azarbaijan in the early hours of Friday.
According to Tasnim news agency, the strong earthquake hit an area near the northwestern city of Tark, around 120km from the provincial capital Tabriz, at 2:17 a.m. local time.
The temblor, which occurred at a depth of two kilometers, has killed six people and injured 350 others so far.
Five of the dead were reported in the village of Varnakesh in Mianeh County and another was reported in the village of Varzaqan in Varzaqan County, East Azarbaijan.
The head of the crisis management department of the East Azarbaijan Province said the casualties are likely to increase.
Speaking to Tasnim correspondent in Mianeh, Mohammad Reza Pourmohammadi, the Governor General of the Province, also said the evacuation of the quake-hit villages has begun.
He added that currently 34 rescue teams from the Iranian Red Crescent Society have been dispatched to the affected areas.
Iran is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, being crossed by several major fault lines that cover at least 90% of the country. As a result, earthquakes in Iran occur often and are destructive.
On November 12, 2017, the Western Province of Kermanshah was hit by a major 7.3-magnitude quake that killed 620 people.
The deadliest quake in Iran's modern history happened in June 1990. It destroyed the northern cities of Rudbar, Manjil, and Lushan, along with hundreds of villages, killing an estimated 37,000 people.
Bam in the country’s Southeastern Province of Kerman witnessed a strong quake in December 2003 which killed 31,000 people.