At Least 5 Dead, 120 Injured After 5.9 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Iran

USGS map

A magnitude 5.9 quake struck northwestern Iran early Friday, killing at least five people and injuring over 300 others, officials said.

The temblor struck Tark county in Iran's Eastern Azerbaijan province at 2:17 am (2347 UTC), according to the country's seismological center.

Over 40 aftershocks rattled the rural region nestled in the Alborz Mountains, prompting residents to flee their homes in fear.

At least five people died as a result of the quake, and about 120 have been injured, AP reported, citing a local emergency official who appeared on state TV.

Numerous injuries occurred in the panicked aftermath of the quake as people fled their homes, it is believed. There were no immediate video or images broadcast from the area.

There are initial reports that three small villages in the area were destroyed in the quake, semi-official FARS news reported.

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Tabriz has been the site of many deadly earthquakes throughout history.

According to the US Geological Survey, the epicentre of the quake was at a depth of 10km, although Iran's Seismological Center said it was at a depth of 8km.

Earthquakes with a magnitude of 5 or higher generally can cause substantial damage.

Iran sits where two major tectonic plates meet and experiences frequent seismic activity.

Back in August 2012, over 300 were killed and more than 3,000 injured after twin earthquakes with magnitudes of 6.4 and 6.2 rocked the province, leaving behind a trail of destruction.

An natural disaster in northwestern Iran killed at least four people and injured 70 early on Friday, according to Iranian media reports quoting officials. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

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