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Magnitude-5.7 quake rocks NE Iran

An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.7 has jolted the city of Torbat-e Heydarieh in Iran’s northeastern Khorasan Razavi Province, leaving more than 100 people injured.

The earthquake took place at around 06:20 p.m. local time (1450 GMT) and rocked the city for about 10 seconds, causing excessive telecom disconnections, IRNA reported.

The Iranian Seismology Center located the epicenter of the earthquake at a depth of about 7 kilometers (4.3 miles), approximately 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) outside the city.

Torbat-e Heydarieh’s Governor Mojtaba Sadeqian said 110 people were injured in the moderate earthquake, adding one of the wounded was in critical condition.

“There were no immediate reports of any mortalities in earthquake. However, it is widely believed that a large number of people are trapped under the rubble, and the casualties are expected to be high,” the official added.

Citing initial reports, Sadeqian estimated that houses in the city’s rural areas had sustained 50 to 80 percent damage.

In November 2009, a magnitude-4.9 earthquake struck the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas, injuring more than 700 people.

At least 25,000 people were killed in 2003 when a magnitude-6.7 earthquake struck near the city of Bam in the southeastern Kerman Province.

Torbat-e Heydarieh is located 140 kilometers (87 miles) from the provincial capital city of Mashhad with a population of nearly 400,000.

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