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At least 5 dead after magnitude 6.1 earthquake rocks southern Iran

The epicentre of an earthquake that struck southern Iran on July 1, 2022. US Geological Survey

At least five people were killed by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in southern Iran early on Saturday, state media reported, with the area also hit by two later strong quakes of up to 6.3 magnitude.

“Five people have died in the earthquake … and so far 12 are hospitalised,” Mehrdad Hassanzadeh, head of emergency management in Hormozgan Province on Iran’s Gulf coast, told state TV. “Rescue work has been carried out and we are now providing tents as emergency housing.”

Read more: Aftershock rattles Afghanistan as earthquake death toll hits 1,150

The state news agency IRNA said a magnitude 6.3 earthquake and a magnitude 6.1 quake followed the 6.1 quake that flattened the village of Sayeh Khosh near Iran’s Gulf coast. There were more than a dozen aftershocks.

“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.

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Major geological fault lines crisscross Iran, which has suffered several devastating earthquakes in recent years. In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 quake in Kerman province killed 31,000 people and flattened the ancient city of Bam.

(Reporting by Dubai newsroom and Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru; Editing by Chris Reese, Sandra Maler and Kenneth Maxwell)

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