40 killed as earthquake shakes Iran

Tehran, April 16 (IANS) At least 40 people were killed when a powerful quake shook Iran Tuesday, a week after 32 people were left dead and 850 wounded in a temblor in Bushehr province which is home to Iran’s nuclear plant.

The earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale struck Iran’s southeastern Sistan and Baluchestan Province, reported Press TV citing the Iranian Seismological Centre.

The epicentre of the quake was 81 km north of Saravan city.

However, the United States Geographical Survey reported that the quake measured 7.8 on the Richter scale.

The quake, which is said to be unprecedented in the past 40 years, led officials to declare an emergency situation in the region.

Assessment and evaluation teams as well as rescue teams from the Iranian Red Crescent Society were dispatched to the quake-hit area.

The quake struck in a region which is a sparsely populated rural area between the provincial cities of Saravan and Khash.

The quake was felt in Pakistan as well as in India. It was also felt in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

In Pakistan, people rushed out of offices and homes.

Tremors were felt across several Pakistani cities, including Quetta, Pishin, Killa Abdullah, Chaghi, Sibi, Jaffarabad, Karachi, Hyderabad, Quetta, Badin, Islamabad, and Rawalpindi, reported Dawn.

Several parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, including Peshawar and Dera Ismail Khan, and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), were also jolted.

The earthquake occurred just a week after at least 32 people were killed and 850 others injured in an earthquake, measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale, rocked Iran’s Bushehr province April 10.

According to Iran’s Seismological Centre, Bushehr was later hit by 13 aftershocks.

Some 700 buildings were badly damaged in the April 10 quake.

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