6.1 magnitude earthquake near Iran’s holy city

Posted By on April 5, 2017

05 April 2017 – A powerful magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck northeastern Iran near the holy city of Mashhad earlier today, killing at least one person as residents fled onto the streets and aftershocks shook the region.

Iranian state radio said the epicenter of the quake appeared to be the Sefid Sang district, a remote mountainous area home to 5,000 people some 80 kilometers (50 miles) southeast of Mashhad. It said rescue teams and helicopters had deployed in Iran’s Khorasan Razavi province to the area to assess the damage.

Semi-official Iranian news agencies posted videos online of people in the street and pictures of cracks and damage to some buildings. Press TV, the English-language arm of Iranian state television, said at least one person was killed. The semi-official Fars news agency said five people were injured and that mobile phone service and landline telephone lines had been affected.

State radio described the depth of the quake as only 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). Shallow earthquakes can cause serious damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey also described the temblor as a 6.1, saying it had a depth of only 13 kilometers (8 miles).

A magnitude 6 earthquake can cause severe damage.

Iran sits on a series of seismic fault lines and experiences one slight quake a day on average. In 2003, some 26,000 people were killed by a magnitude 6.6 quake that flattened the historic southeastern city of Bam.