Strong Quake Hits Southern Iran

A02390684.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- A strong earthquake jolted a major port city on the Persian Gulf coast of southern Iran on Wednesday, the second to strike in a week.

The five-magnitude quake hit at 10:13 pm (1843 GMT) west of the port of Bandar Abbas near Bandar Khamir. Frightened Bandar Abbas residents rushed out into the streets.

“No damage has been reported yet and experts are following the matter,” said Yaser Hezbavi, a local natural disasters management official.

A second quake also jolted Qeshm island off the coast from Bandar Abbas – which is home to an oil refinery and the country’s main naval base.

The electricity is cut off in Qeshm and people are in the streets.

Last Wednesday a 6.1 magnitude quake hit Qeshm, a popular tourist and free trade island which lies in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, killing seven people and injuring 47.

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

The worst in recent times 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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