Magnitude 5.9 quake hits western Iran hours after southern quake

Magnitude 5.9 quake hits western Iran hours after southern quake

According to the Seismological Center of the Geophysics Institute of Tehran University, the quake rocked Tazeh Abad to the west of Kermanshah at 14:45 local time. Iran's semi-official news agency had initially reported the magnitude at 5.7.

"Up to now we only have reports of damage to some buildings and no casualties are reported", Majid Saeedi, head of Kerman province's crisis management body, told state television.

The United States Geological Survey put the quake's magnitude at 5.9. It said it was very shallow, at a depth of only 6.2 miles (10 km), which would have amplified its effect.

An natural disaster measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale hits a town in the western Iranian province of Kermanshah, injuring at least 156 people.

According to Fars news agency, emergency helicopters are dispatched to the area but no serious damage has been reported so far.

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The provincial official stated that forces from the Iranian Red Crescent Society were dispatched to the quake-hit areas to help people.

Iran is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, being crossed by several major fault lines that cover at least 90% of the country.

A 7.2 magnitude quake jolted the Kermanshah province last November killing about 600 people, leaving even more injured.

In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 quake in Kerman province killed 31,000 people and flattened the historic city of Bam.

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