Quake Hits Western Iran

A02582028.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- An earthquake measuring 4 on the Richter scale jolted the suburbs of the town of Salehabad in Iran’s western province of Ilam Saturday evening.

The Seismological center of Ilam province affiliated to the Geophysics Institute of Tehran University registered the quake at 17:05 hours local time (1335 GMT).

The epicenter of the quake was located in an area 45.95 degrees in longitude and 33.52 degrees in latitude.

There are yet no reports on the number of possible casualties or damage to properties by the quake.

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 Bam in southeastern Kerman province in December 2003, killing 31,000 people – about a quarter of its population – and destroying the city’s ancient mud-built citadel.

The deadliest quake in the country was in June 1990 and measured 7.7 on the Richter scale. About 37,000 people were killed and more than 100,000 injured in the northwestern provinces of Gilan and Zanjan. It devastated 27 towns and about 1,870 villages.

Tehran alone sits on two major fault lines, and the capital’s 14 million residents fear a major quake.

The last deadly quake in Iran happened on Sept. 10 when a magnitude-6.1 earthquake killed at least 7 people and injured almost 47 more in the southern Iranian province of Hormozgan, although there have been a number of moderate quakes which have left many injured.

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