Strong quake strikes southern Iran

A powerful earthquake rocked southern Iran on Monday, Iranian and US seismologists said, but there was no immediate word on any casualties or damage.

The Tehran University Geophysics Department measured the quake at 6.1 on the Richter scale, state television reported. The US Geological Survey put it at 5.7.

The quake hit the town of Konar Takhteh in Fars province at 2:52 pm (local time) and was felt 175 kilometres away in the provincial capital Shiraz, state television and Iranian news agencies said.

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

The deadliest in recent times was a 6.3 magnitude quake which hit the southern city of Bam in December 2003, killing 31,000 people – about a quarter of its population – and destroying the city’s ancient mud-built citadel.

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