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6-magnitude quake hits near Iran’s Mashhad

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The magnitude 6 earthquake has partially or fully destroyed several villages in Iran's northeastern Khorasan Razavi Province.

An earthquake measuring six on the Richter scale hits near the northwestern Iranian city of Mashhad, temporarily disrupting cellular communication and landlines.

The tremor took place on Wednesday morning some 100 kilometers (62 miles) near Mashhad, prompting rescue and rapid response teams to be dispatched to the affected areas.

Initial reports suggest two people have died and dozens others have been injured in Sefid Sang in Fariman County of Khorasan Razavi Province, of which Mashhad is the capital.

Several aftershocks have been felt in Mashhad as well as many nearby cities and villages, according to Mohammad Maghdoori, deputy governor of Khorasan Razavi Province.

Iran’s Red Crescent Society said relief workers have also been dispatched to the nearby cities of Sarakhs, Torbat-e Jam and Fariman, as well as the rural district of Sefid Sang.

The Iranian Geophysical Society located the epicenter at the depth of 10 kilometers in Sefid Sang.

A professor at Iranian Seismological Center said there are two fault lines in the area where the quake took place, adding that the center was studying which one had caused the tremor.

Given the magnitude of the quake, he said, the aftershocks could continue for a month.

Reza Vafayi-Nejad, the head of the accident and emergency department at Mashhad’s Medical Sciences University, said the quake has destroyed between 40 and 100 percent of buildings in four villages.


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