7.8-magnitude earthquake hits near Iran-Pakistan border

Many feared dead as tremors felt as far as north India and Gulf states after quake strikes near Iranian city of Khash

Jason Burke and Saeed Kamali Dehghan
The Guardian [UK]
16 April 2013

A powerful earthquake has hit the border regions between Iran and Pakistan, with reports of casualties currently confused.

Communications to the region near the epicentre, in a remote corner of the south-east of Iran, appear to be cut off.

Tremors were felt across the Gulf region, across Pakistan and well into north-west India on Tuesday, when the quake happened at 10.44am GMT.

The US Geological Survey said it had measured the earthquake at magnitude 7.8 and gave its location at 50 miles east-south-east of the town of Khash, in Iran. It is the biggest earthquake in Iran for 40 years.

Though the area is largely desert and mountains, there are several major cities, including Zahedan, 125 miles away, which has more than half a million inhabitants.

One Iranian told the Guardian that the small town of Hiduj, which had a population of around 1,000 according to a 2006 census, had been badly damaged.

The Iranian semi-official news agency Fars quoted Tehran University’s geophysics centre as saying the quake had hit the south-eastern city of Saravan in Sistan and Baluchistan province, at 3.14pm local time and reported that it had killed at least 40 people, according to some of their sources. At least seven villages near the city had been affected, the agency said…

…Saleh Mangi, from the NGO Plan International, said he was in a meeting with staff in their office in Thatta, around 65 miles from the port city, when they felt the ground shake. “It was horrible – we felt the movement in the chairs and even the cupboards were shaking. This is the strongest quake I have felt since the 1980s. And this is an area prone to earthquakes and cyclones.”…





The complete article is at The Guardian.



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