Quake of 5.2 magnitude in southeastern Iran injures at least 23

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ANKARA (Reuters) – An earthquake of magnitude 5.2 rocked Iran’s southeastern province of Kerman on Thursday and at least 23 people were injured, state TV said, only a day after a deadly tremor near the capital Tehran.

Rescue teams were dispatched to the town of Kouhbanan, the epicenter of the latest quake, it said. No deaths were reported.

“Electricity has been cut off in the town … Some houses were damaged,” a local official told TV.

The semi-official ILNA news agency said many residents rushed out of houses in Kouhbanan fearing more tremors after some seven aftershocks following the 20:34 local time (1704 GMT) quake.

“I am urging people to remain calm. The weather is so cold and we need tents … still we don’t have a clear idea about possible fatalities and the exact number of wounded people,” Kouhbanan’s police chief Mohsen Seifouri told the semi-official Fars news agency.

However, a local official said there were no casualties.

“Several rescue teams are in the quake-hit area and fortunately we had no casualties,” deputy head of Kerman province’s crisis management headquarter Mostafa Ayatollahi-Mousavi told the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

Several strong quakes hit Kerman province on Dec. 12, leaving dozens of people injured and damaging houses.

On Wednesday night, a quake of magnitude 5.2 struck a town near the capital Tehran, killing two people and injuring 117.

Criss-crossed by several major geological fault lines, Iran is one of the world’s most quake-prone countries. In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 quake in Kerman province killed 31,000 people and flattened the ancient city of Bam.

Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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