Earthquake strikes western Iran, no casualties reported

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 22, 2013 4:18 AM

DUBAI (Reuters) - An earthquake measuring 5.4 in magnitude struck western Iran near its border with Iraq on Friday morning and relief teams were sent to the area, though the extent of any damage was not immediately clear, Iranian media reported.

Iran sits on major geological faultlines and has suffered several big earthquakes in recent years. In April a 7.8 magnitude quake near its border with Pakistan is thought to have killed hundreds of people.

The epicenter of Friday's quake was the town of Qasr-e Shirin, the capital of Kermanshah province, lying just 10 km (six miles) from the Iran-Iraq border.

"Assessment teams from three towns are on their way to the quake-affected area and are busy assessing the initial situation for emergency and rescue services and emergency housing," Red Crescent official Heidar Heidari told state news agency IRNA.

Tremors were also felt over the border in Iraq's northern provinces of Diyala and Sulaimaniya as well as in parts of Baghdad, witnesses said.

The earthquake registered at a magnitude of 5.0 in Iraq, al-Iraqiya state television said, citing the country's monitoring body. There were no reports of casualties.

(Reporting by Marcus George in Dubai and Suadad al-Salhy in Baghdad; Editing by Alistair Lyon)