Upto 50 dead as powerful earthquake jolts northwestern Iran
According to the latest report 40 to 50 people has been killed in quake today 11-08-2012. About 400 have also been injured and were transported to Tabriz and Ardebil, Gholamreza Masoumi said, quoted by ISNA.
Both strong quakes hit in quick succession, sending panicked residents fleeing from their homes, other officials said.
The temblors, which struck near Tabriz, home to 1.5 million people, measured 6.2 and 6.0 on the moment magnitude scale, according to Tehran University’s.
The US Geological Survey, which monitors quakes worldwide, ranked them as more powerful than that, at 6.4 and 6.3, respectively.
Tabriz itself escaped unscathed apart from observed cracks in buildings.
But nearby villages were “a source of concern,” regional governor Ahmad Alireza Beigi told state television, adding he was unable as yet to give an overall injury toll.
“Sixty villages… have been heavily damaged and are in need of help,” one lawmaker in the hard-hit town of Ahar, Abbas Fallah, told the Mehr news agency.
The second – a big aftershock – rumbled through just 11 minutes later from nearly the same spot. A series of 11 smaller aftershocks, rating 4.7 or below, rapidly followed.
The deadliest was a 6.6-magnitude quake which struck the southern city of Bam in 2003, killing 31,000 people – about a quarter of the population – and destroying the city’s ancient mud-built citadel.