Sun, August 12, 2012
World > Asia-Pacific

250 killed in twin quakes in Iran

2012-08-12 06:44:17 GMT2012-08-12 14:44:17(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

(Photo/Sina.com)

(Photo/Sina.com)

(Photo/Sina.com)

TEHRAN, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- The death toll of Saturday's strong twin quakes in northwest Iran had risen to 250 and some 1,800 others were injured, the semi-official Fars news agency cited an official as saying Sunday.

The quakes, which jolted East Azerbaijan province, had damaged some 110 villages, Deputy Interior Minister Hassan Qaddami told Fars.

At least 12 villages had been levelled thoroughly, while 60 others were damaged 50 percent to 80 percent in Ahar region in the province, Fars said.

Meanwhile, an emergency official told the ISNA news agency that the number of the injured had exceeded 2,000.

Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi said medical assistance was being dispatched to hospitals in the three northwestern provinces of East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan and Ardebil, which had received the injured, ISNA said.

A 6.2-magnitude temblor, with a depth of 10 km, hit Ahar at 4:53 p.m. (GMT 1223) Saturday, while another 6-magnitude one, with the depth of 10 km, struck nearby Varzaqan at 5:04 p.m. (GMT 1234), according to Iranian Seismological Center.

Thousands of people were remaining outdoors due to house damage or fear of aftershocks. At least 35 aftershocks had occurred in the region.

Turkey has offered its help to the quake-stricken areas, ISNA reported.

Being crossed by several major fault lines, Iran is one of the most seismically active countries in the world.

On Dec. 26, 2003, a 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit the southern region of Bam. Over 30,000 died and 50,000 were injured, and 70 percent of the residential buildings in the region were reduced to debris.

Backgrounder: Major earthquakes in Iran in past four decades

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