Magnitude 6.1 earthquake, aftershocks wreck Southern Iran

Southern Iran was hit by an earthquake of magnitude 6.1 with a depth of approximately 10km (6.2 miles) beneath the surface on Saturday. This was followed by two more earthquakes of up to 6.3 magnitude.

According to local officials, there were at least 30 aftershocks in the regions surrounding Bandar Abbas and tremors have even been reported in the United Arab Emirates.

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According to the head of emergency management in Hormozgan on the Gulf coast, Mehrdad Hassanzadeh, there are five deaths and 12 people have been hospitalized. He further informed that tents are being provided for shelter in this state of emergency and there has been rescue work in the affected areas. Many rushed out onto the streets where they spent the night, with many are still in the tents provided by local authorities.

According to Yaqoub Soleimani, the secretary general of the local Red Crescent emergency aid service, who spoke to Iranian state media, the search and rescue operations have been completed and the authorities do not expect to register more casualties.
He noted the challenge of providing cooling systems for the victims in light of the extreme heat, going up to 45 degrees Celsius. Videos illustrate the great destruction while many villages lost power for a while.

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Irna, the state news agency said that besides the many aftershocks, there were two more earthquakes after the initial one, of magnitude 6.3 and 6.1, damaging the Sayeh Khosh village near the coast. Irna quoted Foad Moradzadeh, governor of Bandar Lengeh country who said that “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.”

The major geological fault lines across the country have faced a number of severe earthquakes in the past. According to the state TV, western Hormozgan has seen 150 earthquakes and tremors in the last month.

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Last November one person died due to an earthquake close to Bandar Abbas and the island of Qeshm. Furthermore, last April, Bushehr, where a nuclear power plant is located, was hit by an earthquake of magnitude 5.9. This did not cause much damage. The Kerman province saw a magnitude 6.6 earthquake in 2003 that took 31,000 lives, devastating Bam, the ancient city.

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