Iran’s state news agency reported this Saturday that strong earthquakes hit parts of Iran in the south, leaving at least 5 dead and 49 injured.
In the early hours of this Saturday, an earthquake of more than 6 in magnitude shook the province of Hormozgan in southern Iran. It was immediately followed by two more quakes of the same magnitude that ultimately left at least 5 individuals dead, 49 more injured, and many houses in ruin.
Two of the strongest shocks of the shake were registered at magnitude of 6.3. But the one that first hit the province and left much of the damage was in fact the first quake with the initial magnitude 6.1 at a depth of about 10km (6.2 miles) below the surface of the Earth.
The center of the earthquakes was a village called Sayeh Khosh near Hormozgan province. “All of the victims died in the first earthquake and no-one was harmed in the next two severe quakes as people were already outside their homes,” said Foad Moradzadeh, governor of Bandar Lengeh country, quoted by the state news agency IRNA. Moradzadeh further noted that at least 30 aftershocks were felt in villages and towns near Bandar Abbas in the aftermath of the three major shakes.
Iran’s emergency services spokesperson Mojtaba Khaledi also said that most of the 49 people who were injured during the initial 30-second shake had been discharged from hospitals. The rest, he said, are still under treatment but in stable conditions. Local officials also told state TV in Iran that search and rescue operations had ended and the number of casualties is not expected to rise.
The shakes forced residents in the villages and neighboring areas to leave their houses and spend the night in the streets. While the quakes occurred two days ago, many people are still staying in tents that local authorities and emergency services have set up for them.
Yaqoub Soleimani, the secretary general of the local Red Crescent emergency aid service, told Iranian state media that because it is summer now and local temperatures in the area is as high as 45 degrees Celsius, setting up cooling systems for all those affected by the quakes is currently the number-one challenge.
The UAE also hit by the quakes
The strong earthquakes were also felt by residents across the UAE as they reported strong tremors two times on Saturday. The shakes were indeed so intense that residents from Dubai and Sharjah to Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah left their homes and gathered in open areas in panic.
Geographically speaking, Iran is a highly earthquake-prone country. During recent decades, the natural disaster has caused the country tragic loss of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars in personal and state infrastructure damages.
There are several major geological fault lines across Iran. This has made the country experience one earthquake every day on average. Over the past month, western Hormozgan itself has been hit by more than 150 quakes and tremors, according to Iran’s state TV.
The strongest earthquake that hit Iran to date occurred in 1978 in the Tabas region with a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale. It resulted in more than 20,000 deaths. The deadliest shake, however, was a 7.7-magnitude earthquake that happened in 1990 in northeast Iran, leaving at least 50,000 Iranians dead and 135,000 others injured.
The infrastructure damage in both the earthquakes was also catastrophic. Last year in April, an earthquake of 5.9 in magnitude occurred in Bushehr, where one of Iran’s major nuclear power plants is situated.