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Earthquake Kills At Least 10 In Iran

(RFE/RL) 27 November 2005 -- A powerful earthquake with a magnitude of at least 5.9 struck an island off Iran's southern coast today, killing at least 10 people and damaging four villages.

A local official told Iran's official IRNA news agency that the quake hit Qeshm island and was felt for more than 10 seconds.

The governor of Qeshm island, Heydar Alishbandi, said four villages, which have a total population of 6,000, have been damaged. He said all of them are in the west of the island.

The affected villages were identified as Gabardin, Tonban, Tourian, and Khaldin.

Qeshm island, home to some 120,000 people, is situated around 35 kilometers from the port city of Bandar Abbas.

The quake was also felt across the Gulf in the United Arab Emirates, where residents fled high-rise office and apartment blocks.