Multiple aftershocks have jolted an Iranian port city along the Persian Gulf following an initial magnitude 5.9 earthquake.
Scores of aftershocks were reported in less than 24 hours since the quake hit the southwestern port city of Bandar Ganaveh and nearby villages on Sunday morning.
The Iranian Seismological Center said on Monday that only several of some 70 aftershocks had been stronger than magnitude 4.
The epicenter of the initial quake, the strongest ever recorded in the city, was located some 28 kilometers from Ganaveh’s city center in a depth of 10 kilometer. It left 4 people injured in Ganaveh while a fifth victim was injured in the neighboring port of Deylam.
The strong tremor caused panick-stricken residents to run out of their homes and workplaces, seeking refuge in outdoor areas.
Provincial officials in charge of disaster management have started setting up tents for the victims.
The quake occurred some 100 kilometers from Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant. There were no disruptions in the plant’s operations, officials said.
Meanwhile, approximately six to ten percent of homes in Ganaveh and its six surrounding villages were reported to have been damaged by the quake.
Damage to the buildings included cracks in the walls and ceilings. However, public water supplies, power and gas facilities and telephone lines remained intact, official said.
Iran is located on major seismic fault lines and experiences one earthquake a day on average.
A magnitude 6.6 earthquake flattened the historic city of Bam, Kerman Province, in 2003, killing 26,000 people.
In November 2017, Iran’s western Kermanshah Province was hit by a 7.3-magnitude earthquake, killing more than 600 people and injuring more than 9,000. A year later, hundreds were injured after a 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit the province.