5.8 magnitude earthquake jolts near Bojnord
An earthquake measuring 5.8 degrees on the Richter scale jolted the outskirts of Bojnord, the capital of Khorasane-Shomali Province on Saturday night, 13 May 2017 at 10:31 pm local time (18:01 pm UTC time).
According to the Geophysics Institute of Tehran University, the tremor occurred 22 kilometres away from Bojnord, was registered at a depth of 12 kilometres and has been felt in big city such as Mashhad.
The province was also jolted by twenty one minor aftershocks following the quake. There were initial reports on the death of 3 persons and injury of 225 people. According to government officials' reports, there are between 10 to 70 percent damages to villages of Ghasre-Ghajar, Qorbour, Langer and Bidak but major damages are to villages located at the outskirts of Bojnord, Maneh and Samarghan towns. Electricity and gas pipelines were cut off in 14 affected villages.
"Bojnordi people sheltered after the earthquake since last night," Mr. Morteza Salimi, Head of Red Crescent Relief and Rescue Organisation adding that the assessment teams of the Iranian Red Crescent were immediately despatched to the quake-hit areas. "97 villages with a total population of 31,150 people are affected within 20 kilometres away from the epicentre of the earthquake,"
He said that Red Crescent provincial branch deployed 33 operational teams including 142 relief and rescue workers as well as 11 national emergency response teams plus four sniffing dog teams to the disaster hit areas to provide search and rescue services to the affected in the region.
"One helicopter is on standby in Red Crescent provincial branch in Khorasane-Shomali in case of need," Mr. Salimi stating that 473 tents have been erected to accommodate people affected by the earthquake and 500 blankets and 946 ground sheets (moquettes) have been distributed amongst the beneficiaries.
He also pointed to the use of 29 operational vehicles in relief and rescue operations and said that 210 people received the services and 162 people were outpatients, 48 people hospitalised and 19 people have been released from the rubble. "6,250 kilograms of rice and 6,564 canned foods from Golestan province have been sent to the earthquake victims,"
Iran sits astride several major seismic faults, and is prone to frequent earthquakes, many of which have been devastating. The worst in recent times hit Bam in Kerman Province in December 2003, killing 31,000 people - about a quarter of its population - and destroying the city’s ancient mud-built citadel.
The deadliest quake was in June 1990 and measured 7.7 on the Richter scale. Around 37,000 people were killed and more than 100,000 injured in the north western provinces of Gilan and Zanjan. In August 2012, two quakes in north western Iran also claimed the lives of 306 people and injured more than 4,500 others.