5.9 earthquake hits northwestern Iran, 5 killed
An earthquake with 5.9 magnitude hits northwestern Iran on Friday morning, causing death and injury.
Iran Press/Iran News: According to the Seismological Center of the Institute of Geophysics-University of Tehran, the epicenter of the tremor was Tark, 118 km to the east of provincial capital Tabriz, at the depth of eight km underground.
A local emergency service spokesman said eight assessment teams have been dispatched to the quake-hit area, Iran Press reported.
At least five people have been killed and 120 injured in an earthquake that struck north-west Iran in the early hours of Friday morning, an emergency official, Pir Hossein Koulivand stated early on Friday morning.
The earthquake struck about 120 kilometers southeast of the city of Tabriz, in East Azerbaijan Province, in the early hours of the morning, the Iranian Seismological Center said.
The earthquake measured 5.9 on the Richter scale, prompting the USGS to issue an alert warning that "significant casualties are likely and the disaster is potentially widespread".
The tremor was relatively strong and caused many people to run out of their homes in panic in the middle of the night and it has been reported that the quake was felt in several towns and cities.
The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said the quake was felt by some 20 million people.
The quake had a shallow depth of 10km, which would have amplified the shaking.
Iran sits where two major tectonic plates meet and faces in this regard frequent seismic activity.
The country has suffered a number of major disasters in recent decades, including at the ancient city of Bam, which was decimated by a catastrophic earthquake in 2003 that killed at least 31,000 people. 101/219