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'Significant casualties' as deadly magnitude 5.9 earthquake strikes Iran

Iran has witnessed several earthquakes, due to its location atop two tectonic plates. [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 November, 2019

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A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck northwestern Iran early Friday, killing at least five people and injuring over 300 others.
At least five people were killed as a 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck northwestern Iran on Friday morning, with hundreds more injured.

The tremors struck at 2:30am local time close to the town of Hastrud, in the East Azerbaijan Province, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The USGS alerted that "significant casualties are likely and the disaster is potentially widespread".

People were forced to camp outside their homes or in their cars.

Several aftershocks have been reported since the main earthquake. 

The crisis management chief of the province, Mohammad Baqer Honar, said that eight rescue teams were deployed promptly to tackled the damage created by the earthquake and safeguard those involved, Press TV reported. 

In 1990, a 7.4-magnitude quake in northern Iran killed 40,000 people, injured 300,000 and left half a million homeless, reducing dozens of towns and nearly 2,000 villages to rubble. 

Iran has experienced at least two other significant quakes in recent years - one in 2005 that killed more than 600 people and another in 2012 that left some 300 dead.

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