At least five killed in magnitude 6.1 quake on Iran Gulf coast

At least five people were killed and 49 others injured in a 6.1-magnitude earthquake in southern Iran early Saturday morning, state media reported, and the region was also hit shortly after by two powerful 6.3-magnitude quakes.

About 24 earthquakes, two with a magnitude of 6.3 and 6.1 on the Richter scale, followed the earthquake that hit the village of Sayeh Khosh near the Iranian Gulf coast in Hormozgan province at 2 am local time. Officials told state television that the latest earthquake occurred at around 8 am.

“All the victims were killed in the first earthquake and no one was hurt in the next two because people were already outside their homes,” IRNA news agency quoted Fuad Moradzadeh, governor of Bandar Lengeh province, as saying.

Emergency services spokesman Mojtaba Khalidi told state television that half of the 49 injured had been discharged from hospitals.

Officials said search and rescue operations had ended.

Saeed Pourzadeh of the Kish Island Crisis Task Force said air traffic and flights in the Gulf were not affected by the quake.

State television said that 150 earthquakes and tremors hit West Hormozgan during the past month.

Major geological fault lines intersect in Iran, which has suffered several devastating earthquakes in recent years. In 2003, an earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale in the Kerman province killed 31,000 people and destroyed the ancient city of Bam.

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