Strong quake jolts Southern Iran; No reports of casualties

Tasnim – An earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale has rattled a province in southern Iran, but there are no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

According to the Seismological Center of the Institute of Geophysics of Tehran University, the epicenter of the quake was about 20 km deep.

It struck the town of Ziarat-e Ali in Hormozgan Province at around 4 a.m. local time (0730 GMT) on Monday.

The closest cities in the area are Minab, 84 km away from the epicenter, with a population of over 76,000, and Bandar Abbas, 115 km away with more than 400,000. No casualties or property damage have so far been reported.

Iran is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, being crossed by several major fault lines that cover at least 90% of the country. As a result, earthquakes in Iran occur often and are destructive.

The deadliest quake in Iran’s modern history happened in June 1990. It destroyed the northern cities of Rudbar, Manjil, and Lushan, along with hundreds of villages, killing an estimated 37,000 people.

Bam in the country’s southeastern province of Kerman witnessed a strong quake in December 2003 which killed 31,000 people.