Earthquakes in Iran: more than 500 injured

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 Earthquakes in Iran: more than 500 injured

According to state media, a 5.4-magnitude earthquake hit northwestern Iran early Wednesday morning, more than 500 people were injured.

“As a result of the earthquake, occurred at a depth of 10 kilometers in the province of Western Azerbaijan, 528 people were injured, 135 of whom were hospitalized,” the governor of the region, Mohammad Sadegh Motamedyan, told state television.

The earthquake and its aftershocks “damaged 500 houses, completely destroying 50 of them, in 12 affected villages,” he added. A spokesman for the national emergency service said that “electricity and water have been cut off in some villages”; near the cities of Salmas and Khoy, which are near the epicenter of the earthquake.

Iran lies on the boundary of several major tectonic plates and is often seismic.

Iran's deadliest 7.4 magnitude earthquake occurred in 1990, killing 40,000 people, injuring 300,000 and half a million were left homeless.

In 2003, a 6.6 magnitude earthquake in southeastern Iran leveled the ancient city of Bam and killed at least 31,000 people.

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