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5.9-magnitude quake rattles northwestern Iran, 2nd this month

5.9-magnitude quake rattles northwestern Iran, 2nd this month
Iran, located in a seismically active zone, has seen multiple earthquakes in recent months

By Syed Zafar Mehdi

TEHRAN (AA) - A 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck Iran's northwestern province of West Azerbaijan on Saturday with shockwaves felt in many cities, emergency officials said.

The quake was reported at around 9.44 p.m. local time (1814GMT) at a shallow depth of 7 kilometers (4.34 miles), with its epicenter near the city of Khoy.

According to local officials and media reports, the high-intensity quake was felt in multiple cities, including the provincial capital and largest city Urmia, with multiple aftershocks.

Casualties and damage to properties are feared, especially in Khoy, although there is still no confirmation on the number and extent.

Mojtaba Khaledi, the spokesman of Iran's Emergency Organization, told state TV that preliminary reports suggest damage in Khoy as a result of the quake, adding that ambulances have been dispatched from nearby cities of Urmia and Tabriz.

The teams of the Red Crescent Society in the province, which borders Azerbaijan, have also been dispatched to the worst-hit areas to assess the damage, officials said.

Zabihullah Kazemi, governor of Khoy, was quoted as saying by the state news agency that 15 teams have been sent to the quake-hit areas to assess the extent of damage and provide relief to people.

The province was jolted by a 5.4-magnitude earthquake earlier this month, which shook the city of Khoy and caused extensive damage to properties there.

In October, a 5.4 magnitude earthquake in the city of Khoy injured nearly 400 people and partially or fully damaged hundreds of urban and rural residential properties.

Iran is located in a seismically active zone and has seen many catastrophic earthquakes in the past years.

The most devastating earthquake to hit the country in recent history came in 2013 when at least 34,000 people died in the city of Bam in southeastern Kerman province. The quake measured 6.7 on the Richter scale.

In recent months, a string of high and medium-intensity earthquakes have hit provinces in southern and northern Iran.

source: News Feed
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