ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A 5.9 earthquake on the Richter scale struck Iran’s northwestern province of East Azerbaijan, and according to early reports, resulted in the deaths of at least five people and injury to 120 others.
The tremor’s center was near the town of Tark in Mianeh County of East Azerbaijan and took place at 2:17 am local time, semi-official news outlet Tasnim reported. Five people were killed, and 120 were injured due to incidents related to the quake.
At least seven provinces in northwest of the country, including the capital of Tehran, felt the high-intensity earthquake, the report added. The official IRNA agency reported that due to the fear of aftershocks, many residents of the affected areas had left their homes.
According to European-Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC), close to 20 million people felt the 10-kilometer-deep 5.9-strong earthquake.
Tasnim quoted the East Azerbaijan Governor, Mohammad Reza Pourmohammadi, as saying that the incident had led to the 'total destruction" of 30 villages in this province.
In Iran, parts of which lie on a major geological fault-line, earthquakes are a common occurrence, especially in the Kurdish regions of the country, where some people still live in makeshift tents due to previous incidents.
The strongest in recent years was a 7.3 tremor in November 2017 that encompassed whole regions of the Kurdistan Region and Iranian Kurdistan (Rojhilat). According to reports then, the quake resulted in the death of 630, injury to over 8,100, and left tens of thousands homeless.
Editing by Nadia Riva