TEHRAN - Eight people have been killed in a moderate earthquake that struck eastern Iran on Wednesday and hundreds have been displaced because their homes were destroyed or seriously damaged.
On Thursday, Iranian Red Crescent Society Director Abolhassan Faqih said a dozen people were also injured by the quake, the Persian service of the Mehr News Agency reported.
According to the Institute of Geophysics of the University of Tehran, an earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale hit the city of Zohan, in South Khorasan Province at 8:38 p.m. local time (1708 GMT) on Wednesday.
The earthquake caused damage to 38 villages.
Faqih said that the people of the quake-stricken area are facing a number of major problems, such as extremely cold weather and lack of latrines.
He announced that the search-and-rescue operations have been halted and said that rescue teams were sent to the area immediately after the tremor occurred.
The director of South Khorasan office of the Red Crescent said that 800 people have been housed in tents.
Iran is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, being crossed by several major fault lines, and is prone to earthquakes.
A 6.4-magnitude quake hit the northwestern city of Tabriz on August 11, which killed over 300 people and injured more than 3000 individuals.
And in December 2003, about 26,000 people were killed by a 6.6-magnitude earthquake that flattened the southeastern city of Bam.
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