The head of Iran’s Seismology Institute says the risk of a major earthquake in the capital city of Tehran has decreased as several weak aftershocks were registered following a magnitude 5.2 tremor, which affected six Iranian provinces.
Ali Moradi said seven 2-3 magnitude aftershocks have been registered in Tehran so far, adding, “There is no more concern for larger tremors” after the major quake occurred, IRNA reported on Thursday.
According to the Seismological Center of the Institute of Geophysics of Tehran University, the quake hit the Iranian city of Malard in western Tehran Province on Wednesday at 23:27 local time (1957 GMT) at a depth of seven kilometers.
The epicenter of the tremor was 3 kilometers from Malard, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of the capital.
According to the governor of Malard, Bahman Khatibi, one pregnant woman lost her life and 20 others were injured in the city as they tried to escape the quake in panic.
The quake was also felt in the central and northern provinces of Alborz, Qom, Qazvin, Markazi and Gilan.
No destruction has been reported, but there have been several reports of injuries and panic attacks in different parts of Tehran and Qazvin provinces as people rushed to escape the quake.
Meanwhile, police forces, firefighters, rescue operation teams and crisis management bodies in the six quake-hit province are on alert. They have urged people to remain calm, but cautious.
The head of Tehran’s Crisis Management Organization, Ahmad Sadeghi, had earlier told reporters that “the earthquake can have more aftershocks. The aftershocks can even be more powerful. The Crisis Management Organization calls on people to stay vigilant and move to nearby safe places.”
Universities and state organizations will be closed in Tehran, Alborz and Qom provinces on Thursday.
The quake disrupted phone lines in some parts of Tehran and Alborz provinces. It also caused panic, prompting people to come out on the streets and public places and stay outdoors overnight.
This comes as Iran is still reeling from a magnitude 7.1 earthquake, its deadliest in over a decade, which hit the western province of Kermanshah on November 11, killing more than 500 people and causing extensive material damage there.