One dead, dozens injured in southern Iran quake

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake shook southern Iran early Wednesday, killing one person, injuring dozens and damaging houses in four villages near the town of Lamerd, media reports said.

State television’s website reported that “an 80-year-old woman, who was injured in the earthquake, died of internal bleeding after she was taken to hospital in Lamerd.”

The tremor just after midnight was followed by 11 aftershocks and 30 percent of buildings in the four villages, on the border of the southern provinces of Fars and Hormuzgan, were damaged, the state television said.

“Thirty people were injured in Lamerd and two in a village in Hormuzgan,” the head of Iran’s relief and rescue organisation Mahmoud
Mozaffar told Fars news agency.

State news agency IRNA said the tremor was also felt on the Gulf island of Kish but gave no further details.

The US Geological Survey said the quake, which it downgraded to 5.1 magnitude from an initial 5.8, struck at 1938 GMT Tuesday (00:08 am Wednesday local time) some 160 kilometres (100 miles) south of Jahrom and 975 kilometres (610 miles) southeast of Tehran, at a depth of 10 kilometres.

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

The worst in recent times, of magnitude 6.3, 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.