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Strong earthquake hits Iran

World News : A strong earthquake of 6.2 magnitude hit southern Iran early on Saturday, the US Geological Survey said, with local media reporting of damaged villages and several injuries.

The epicentre of the quake was measured at 85 kilometres (52 miles) southeast of the southern town of Minab at 0208 GMT , the USGS said in a statement. It was at a depth of 36.44 km (22.64).

The governor of the southern Hormuzgan province, Ebrahim Azizi told state television that, “based on the preliminary searches, 15 people have sustained wounds which are not critical injuries, and one person is not in a good condition and has been hospitalised.”He added that scores of villages have been damaged and that more detailed information would be available in the coming hours as rescue teams have been dispatched to the areas.

Earlier, the head of Iran’s Red Crescent rescue corps, Mahmoud Mozafar, told the Fars news agency that at least 11 people had been injured in five villages which were “severely” hit by the quake.

The Mehr news agency, quoted him as saying that “several houses were levelled” based on preliminary reports.

The USGS said there was a 35 percent chance of fatalities from the quake, which the Hong Kong Observatory measured at 6.1 magnitude.

Iran’s Seismological Centre has registered a series of aftershocks, measuring between 4.1 and 5.2.

Iran sits astride several major fault lines and is prone to frequent earthquakes, some of which have been devastating.

Last month, the biggest earthquake to hit the country in 50 years, measuring 7.8, killed a woman and injured more than a dozen other people in the southeast. Agencies

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