Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Another Major Earthquake Hits Iran
by Asharq Al-Awsat
London, Asharq Al-Awsat—A major earthquake described as the strongest to hit Iran in over half a century flattened homes and offices and was felt across Pakistan, India and the Middle East.
The country’s state media said no deaths had been confirmed, despite an earlier TV report that there were at least 40 casualties.
The semiofficial ISNA news agency and others described the quake, measured at least magnitude 7.7, as the strongest quake in more than 50 years.
Iran’s state-run Press TV said the quake was centered near Saravan, about 50 kilometers (26 miles) from the Pakistani border. A previous report citing the country’s seismological center placed the strength at magnitude 7.5, but it was apparently revised upward. The U.S. Geological Survey put the preliminary magnitude at 7.8 and at a depth of 15.2 kilometers (nine miles).
This is the second deadly quake to hit Iran in less than a week after a magnitude 6.1 temblor struck near Bushehr, on Iran’s Persian Gulf coast, killing at least 37 people and raising calls for greater international safety inspectors at Iran’s lone nuclear reactor nearby.
Last week, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) urged Iran to join an international accord on nuclear safety following the earthquake near Bushehr.
In a meeting held in Riyadh, Abdullatif Al-Zayani, Secretary-General of the GCC implored Iran to join the UN’s Convention on Nuclear Safety, which allows greater review by the UN’s atomic watchdog agency.
The deadliest quake to hit Iran was in June 1990, which 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.
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Posted by Sally Zahav at 3:11 AM