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Earthquake in Iran claims lives

THE LEVANT – A strong 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck the province of Ilam in western Iran on Monday, causing injuries and damage, Iranian state television said, but there were no immediate reports of fatalities.

The US Geological Survey reported the magnitude of the quake at 6.3 and said its epicentre was at a depth of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles).

The USGS said the quake struck 36 kilometres (22 miles) southeast of the city of Abdanan, near the border with Iraq.

According to the television, the quake occurred at 7:02 am (0232 GMT) near the town of Mour-Mouri.

“Fortunately there have been no reports of deaths so far but there have been injuries and a great deal of material damage,” a Red Cross official told the channel.

The report said that 40 injured people had been rescued by emergency teams in Abdanan.

It added that a number of people spent the night outside their homes after minor tremors struck the area on Sunday.

Iran stands on several seismic fault lines.

In April last year, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southeastern Iran and neighbouring Pakistan, killing 40 people.

A massive quake in December 2003 struck the southern city of Bam, killing 26,000 people and destroying its ancient mud-built citadel.

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