Five Wounded by Quake in Southern Iran

TTEHRAN (FNA)- An earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale jolted Qeshm island off Iran’s southern coast on Sunday, followed by several aftershocks on Monday.

The tremor struck an area around the town of Dargahan on Qeshm island, at the entrance to the Persian Gulf, injuring five people and damaging buildings.

The Seismological network of the Geophysics Institute of Tehran University registered the quake at 17:06 hours local time (13:36 GMT).

The epicenter of the quake was located in an area 55.96 degrees in longitude and 26.94 degrees in latitude.

The quake has been followed by frequent aftershocks varying from 2.8 to 3.8 degrees on the Richter scale on Monday.

“So far only the collapse of walls of houses in the villages of Zainabieh and Koohi has been reported,” Qeshm Governor Mehdi Irannejad said.

The governor also said that five people had received treatment after being injured by the quake, which struck seven km (4 miles) east of Dargahan.

The governor said that 2,000 tents were ready in case they were needed, and medical teams with supplies and rescue equipment had been sent to check villages near Dargahan.

Residents in Dubai and the Northern Emirates also felt the quake.

Iran sits astride several major faults in the earth’s crust, and is prone to frequent earthquakes, many of which have been devastating.

The worst in recent times hit Bam in southeastern Kerman province in December 2003, killing 31,000 people – about a quarter of its population – and destroying the city’s ancient mud-built citadel.

The deadliest quake in the country was in June 1990 and measured 7.7 on the Richter scale. About 37,000 people were killed and more than 100,000 injured in the northwestern provinces of Gilan and Zanjan. It devastated 27 towns and about 1,870 villages.

Tehran alone sits on two major fault lines, and the capital’s 14 million residents fear a major quake.

The last deadly quake in Iran happened on Sept. 10 when a magnitude-6.1 earthquake killed at least 7 people and injured almost 47 more in the southern Iranian province of Hormozgan, although there have been a number of moderate quakes which have left many injured.

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