2 killed, 40 injured in 5.9-magnitude earthquake in northern Iran

14:59, August 28, 2010      

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A magnitude-5.9 earthquake that hit the city of Damghan in Iran's northern Semnan province at 1923 GMT Friday night has killed 2 people and injured 40 others, state TV IRINN reported.

The earthquake, at a depth of only 7 km, was 35.5 degrees North Latitude and 54.5 degrees East Longitude, according to the Iranian Seismological Center's website.

The epicenter of the quake, 278 km to the east of Iran's capital Tehran, is in a desert area of the Semnan Province which is called Barandazeh Mianeh.

A few villages to the south of Damghan have been affected, and the quake was felt in Tehran's eastern part.

Iran, including its capital Tehran, sits astride several major fault-lines in the earth's crust, and is prone to frequent earthquakes.

Moderate quakes sometimes cause huge damage in some regions of the country because of the poor construction.

A 5.7-magnitude earthquake that struck on July 30 the city of Torbat-e Heydarieh in Iran's northeastern Khorasan Razavi Province injured at least 170 people.

On July 20, an earthquake measuring 5.8 magnitude that hit southern Iran's Fars Province near the Persian Gulf killed at least one and injured 32 others.

Local media reports said the last deadly quake in Iran occurred in September 2008, when a magnitude-6.1 earthquake killed at least 7 people and injured almost 47 others in the southern Hormozgan province.

The worst quake happened in recent years was a magnitude-6.3 one, which struck the southern city of Bam in December 2003, killing 31,000 people, about a quarter of the city's population, and destroying an ancient mud-built citadel.

Some Iranian officials suggest to move the capital from Tehran to some other places. The idea of shifting the capital away from Tehran is not something new, and related preliminary planning was done in the late 1980s and again in the early 1990s.

Source: Xinhua


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