Iran earthquakes kill 153, according to local media
LAST UPDATED: 08/11/2012 22:13
Six hundred injured after two strong earthquakes strike near the towns of Tabriz and Varzgan in northwest Iran.
Aftermath of earthquake [file] Photo: Thinkstock
DUBAI - The death toll in the two earthquakes which hit northwest Iran on Saturday has risen to 153, the semi-official Fars news agency quoted Deputy Interior Minister Hassan Ghadami as saying. About 600 were reportedly injured. The US Geological Survey measured the first quake at 6.4 magnitude and said it struck 60 km (37 miles) northeast of the city of Tabriz at a depth of 9.9 km (6.2 miles). A second quake measuring 6.3 struck 49 km (30 miles) northeast of Tabriz 11 minutes later at a similar depth. The second quake struck near the town of Varzgan, Fars news agency said. "The quake was so intense that people poured into the streets through fear," it said. A local provincial official urged people in the region to stay outdoors during the night for fear of aftershocks, according to the official IRNA news agency. By early evening, ISNA said there had been at least 10 aftershocks. Iran is straddled by several major fault lines and has suffered several devastating earthquakes in recent times, the last which struck the city of Bam in 2003, killing more than 25,000 people.