Five dead after natural disaster hits northwestern Iran

Nellie Chapman
November 8, 2019

The tremor struck at around 2:00 a.m. local time (5:30 p.m ET Thursday) in Iran's East Azerbaijan Province and there have been more than 50 aftershocks, Press TV said.

A two.nine-magnitude quake hit at two: 46 a.m., followed by a 3.five-magnitude tremor at four: 38 a.m., the agency suggests.

Rescue workers are operating in 41 villages, but most of the damage was concentrated in the two villages of Varnakesh and Varzaghan, provincial governor Mohammad-Reza Pourmohammadi was quoted as saying.

Some 40 homes were levelled by the quake and over 200 head of cattle killed. There were no immediate video or images broadcast from the area. But the damage appeared to be less widespread than initially feared.

Numerous injuries occurred in the panicked aftermath of the quake as people fled their homes, it is believed.

The water and gas supplies, which were disrupted in some of the villages, have been resumed.

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Iranian media gave no further details about the casualties, but Iranian state TV said the quake was felt in several towns and cities.

Tabriz has been the site of many deadly earthquakes throughout history.

In 1990, a 7.4-magnitude quake in northern Iran killed 40,000 people, injured 300,000 and left half a million homeless, reducing dozens of towns and almost 2,000 villages to rubble.

Iran is prone to earthquakes as it sits on major fault lines and experiences an average of one temblor a day.

Back in August 2012, over 300 were killed and more than 3,000 injured after twin earthquakes with magnitudes of 6.4 and 6.2 rocked the province, leaving behind a trail of destruction.

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