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Middle East

Strong quake hits west Iran, 250 injured

A handout picture released by the official website of the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani shows him speaking during an economic forum in Tehran on August 12, 2014. AFP PHOTO/IRANIAN PRESIDENCY WEBSITE

TEHRAN: A strong 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck the province of Ilam in western Iran Monday, injuring at least 250 people and causing extensive damage to buildings, Iranian media said.

The U.S. Geological Survey, reporting the magnitude of the quake at 6.3, said it struck 36 kilometers southeast of the city of Abdanan, near the border with Iraq.

According to state television, the quake occurred at 7:02 am near the town of Mour-Mouri.

"Fortunately there have been no reports of deaths so far but there have been injuries and a great deal of material damage," a Red Cross official told the television.

The chief of the crisis committee for the area, Ahmad Karami, later said 250 people had been injured in the quake.

In the village of Mour-Mouri, a number of homes and public buildings were damaged, according to the official IRNA news agency.

It added that damage also occurred in eight nearby villages.

A number of people spent the night outside their homes after at least 44 smaller tremors struck the area Sunday, media reported.

Iran stands on several seismic fault lines.

In April last year, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southeastern Iran and neighboring Pakistan, killing 40 people.

A massive quake in December 2003 struck the southern city of Bam, killing 26,000 people and destroying its ancient mud-built citadel.

 

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