Strong quake jolts northern Iran, 3 dead

August 29, 2010

DAMGHAN – An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 on the Richter scale struck northern Iran on Friday night, killing 3 people and injuring 40 others.

The quake happened at 11:53 p.m. local time, Iran’s Seismological Center said.
The epicenter of the earthquake was located near Damghan, Semnan province, in Dasht-e-Kavir region about 285 kilometers (175 miles) east of Tehran.
The earthquake also shook Tehran and parts of Mazandaran province.
Rescue teams were dispatched to the stricken region shortly after the quake happened.
About 2000 people affected by the earthquake have been provided with temporary shelters and food supplies, said Mohammad Hasan Safi, a member of the Iranian Red Crescent Society.
The buildings have sustained 30 to 80 percent damages, Safi added.
The major earthquake was followed by 58 aftershocks, a local official announced.
Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar visited the stricken regions on Saturday and called for an immediate assessment of damages.
Mahdi Zare’, the deputy director of the Earthquake Research Center, has said the fault line which has become active as a result of the tremor will not activate Tehran’s fault lines.
Iran is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, being crossed by several major fault lines in the Earth's crust that cover at least 90% of the country.
Since 1900, at least 126,000 fatalities have resulted from earthquakes in Iran.
The worst in recent times was a 6.6 magnitude quake which hit the southern city of Bam in December 2003, killing about 30,000 people, about a quarter of its population, and destroying the city's ancient adobe citadel