5.8 magnitude earthquake hits southern Iran, 4 injured

09:19, July 21, 2010      

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Four people were injured during an earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale that hit southern Iran's Fars Province near the Persian Gulf coast at 1938 GMT on Tuesday.

A local official from the neighbouring Hormozgan Province told Xinhua that four were injured in Kemeshk, a town near the border between Hormozgan Province and Fars Province, and more casualties are expected in the regions around the epicenter.

The earthquake, at a depth of 9 kilometers, is 27 degrees North Latitude and 53.9 degrees East Longitude, according to the Iranian Seismological Center's website.

Earlier in the day the U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake is at a depth of about 34 kilometers, and was centered about 234 kilometers west of Bandar-e Abbas.

Within 21 minutes after the magnitude-5.8 quake, another two earthquakes measuring 5.2 and 4.1 respectively struck Fars province in succession, the Iranian Seismological Center said.

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

The worst quake that 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 this city's population.

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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