Massive earthquake strikes in south east Iran

Published: 16 April 2013 18:25 CET

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At 11.44 GMT a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck in southeast Iran, on the border with Pakistan. The USGS said the quake was at a depth of 82km. Reports from the city of Saravan, which is close to the epicentre, suggest damage has been minimal, though power and communications were disrupted for some time in Sistan and Baluchistan provinces.

Assessment teams from the Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran have been dispatched to the region. Early estimates suggested there had been up to 40 deaths, but this figure is unconfirmed. Across the border in Pakistan, a number of deaths were also reported, but the figures have not yet been confirmed. Representatives from the Bushehr nuclear power plant, which is close to the quake's centre said the it had no effect on the plant.

In addition to air assessments, the Iranian Red Crescent has deployed 40 ambulances to deal with expected casualties.

Residents as far away as New Delhi and the Abu Dhabi said they felt the earth shake for up to 40 seconds, though no significant damage in these areas has been reported. Authorities said the earthquake was the biggest experienced in the country since a 7.4 event in 1990.

On April 9, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake shook Iran, killing 37 people and leaving 850 injured. The country’s most deadly earthquake flattened the city of Bam, approximately 200 miles from the most recent quake, and killed over 25,000 people.