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Limited Damage Reported After Earthquake Hits Northeastern Iran


A moderate earthquake has shaken northeastern Iran, near the border with Afghanistan.

Morteza Salimi, head of rescue at Iran's Red Crescent, told state television on January 2 that there was little damage and no casualties.

The earthquake measured 5.8 on the Richter scale and was centered on an area near the town of Sangan, which has a population of about 10,000, official media reported.

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Center put the quake’s magnitude at 5.5 and said it hit 253 kilometers south of the Iranian city of Mashhad and 169 kilometers west of the Afghan city of Herat.

Sangan, Iran
Sangan, Iran

"Our near-final report is that about 14 villages have had very limited damage," Salimi said, adding: "There are no casualties and most of the damage is walls collapsing in places where livestock is kept."

Earthquakes are common in Iran, which sits on major fault lines.

In 2003, a 6.6-magnitude quake in the southeastern province of Kerman killed more than 25,000 people and flattened the ancient city of Bam.

With reporting by Reuters