At least 5 killed in 6.1-magnitude earthquake off Iran’s Gulf coast

DUBAI, July 2 (Reuters) – At least five people were killed and 49 injured when a 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck southern Iran early on Saturday, state media reported.

About 24 aftershocks, with magnitudes of 6.3 and 6.1, followed the 2:00 a.m. local time quake that leveled the village of Saye Ghosh near Iran’s Gulf coast in Hormozgan province. Officials told state television that the most recent quake struck around 8 a.m.

“All the victims died in the first earthquake and no one was hurt in the next two strong earthquakes because people were already out of their homes,” Bandar Lenge country governor Fot Moradzadeh was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.

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Half of the 49 injured have been discharged from hospitals, emergency services spokesman Mojtaba Khaledi told state television.

Officials said the search and rescue operation has ended.

Saeed Bourzadeh of the Kish Island Crisis Task Force said Gulf shipping and aircraft were not affected by the quake.

State television reported 150 earthquakes and tremors in western Hormuz in the past month.

There are large geological fault lines across Iran that have experienced several devastating earthquakes in recent years. In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake in Kerman province killed 31,000 people and leveled the ancient city of Bam.

Reporting by Dubai Newsroom and Mirunme Day in Bangalore; Editing by Chris Rees, Sandra Maler and Kenneth Maxwell

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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