ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A 5.1-magnitude earthquake hit Iran’s western Kurdish province of Kermanshah (Kermanshan) injuring at least 20 people, state media reported on Saturday.
Iran’s ISNA news agency said the tremor rocked the Kurdish town of Sarpol Zahab, located 520 kilometers (320 miles) west of the Iranian capital of Tehran.
According to the state media’s report, the earthquake “affected an area of eight kilometers (five miles) and injured at least 20 people.”
Two of the injured persons had to be transferred to the hospital, ISNA added.
After initial reports of eight injuries, the casualty toll rose after five aftershocks ranging from 2.7 to 5.1-magnitude rocked other cities in western Iran.
However, in a contradictory statement, Kermanshan Province Governor Hushang Bazvand reported no damage or casualties.
“Fortunately, after all the checks that have been made in the area, there are no reports yet of any damage or casualties,” he told state television.
Kurdistan 24 was unable to contact relevant authorities to verify reports of casualties or damage to properties.
Iran has several major seismic faults within its territory and regularly experiences earthquakes.
On Nov. 12, 2017, a devastating 7.3-magnitude earthquake rocked the border areas of the Kurdistan Region and Iranian Kurdistan (Rojhelat).
Nine civilians were killed in the Kurdistan Region provinces of Sulaimani, Halabja, and surrounding areas with scores more injured.
Meanwhile, over 500 casualties were reported in Kermanshan in Rojhelat, with hundreds more injured.
The tremor and subsequent aftershocks caused major damage to public facilities and properties in Kurdistan and Rojhelat, including historical buildings and dams.
The earthquake completely leveled two villages in Rojhelat with an estimated 15,000 houses destroyed, leaving 70,000 people homeless as locals complained of a lack of help from the Iranian government.