No major harm to Khuzestan historical sites by quake

July 9, 2019

TEHRAN – No serious damage has been reported to museums and cultural heritage sites across Iran’s Khuzestan province hit by a medium-sized quake on Monday, according to the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.

“Based on probes and field visits, no serious damage to museums, historical relics and monuments has been reported from an earthquake that today jolted Masjed Soleiman [an ancient city in southwestern Khuzestan province],”CHTN quoted a provincial tourism official as saying on Monday. 

According to the data published on Iranian Seismological Center (IRSC), affiliated to Tehran University, the first quake struck Masjed Soleiman at about 11:30 a.m. at the depth of 17 kilometers beneath the earth’s surface.

Four other quakes measuring 3-4.7 on the Richter scale shook the area within 40 minutes. Fairly powerful quakes shook the capital city of Ahvaz and other cities across the province, while it even affected the western province of Lorestan.

“There are a lot of historical monuments in Masjed Soleiman. For this reason, we have not yet fully monitored [all over the region] so far, however, no [serious] damage to its monuments and historical objects has been reported,” Ahmadreza Hosseini said.

Masjed Soleiman was the site of the first oil well in Iran and the Middle East.

Iran is located on major seismic faults and experiences one earthquake per day on average. In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake flattened the historic city of Bam in southern Iran, killing 26,000 people.

The U.S. Geological Survey said Monday’s quake was centered 28 kilometers (17 miles) southeast of Masjed Soleiman, and at a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles). At least five aftershocks were recorded, and tremors were felt as far away as Kuwait.

Khuzestan province is home to three UNESCO World Heritage sites of Susa, Tchogha Zanbil and Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System yet it is a region of raw beauty where its visitors could spend weeks exploring. The province is also a cradle for handicrafts and arts whose crafters inherited from their preceding generations.

AFM/MG

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