TEHRAN: At least one person died after two strong earthquakes struck the southern Iranian province of Hormozgan, state TV reported on Sunday.

State TV quoted Azizollah Konari, the Bandar Abbas governor, as saying a 22-year-old man died when an electric pole fell on his head as a result of the earthquake.

Iran’s Seismological Centre said that the quakes struck Qeshm island in the Strait of Hormuz in midafternoon, about 1000 kilometres south of the Iranian capital of Tehran. It said the magnitudes were 6.4 and 6.3 and the heaviest temblor struck at a depth of 18 kilometres.

The epicentre is located some 60 kilometres southwest of Bandar Abbas port in Hormozgan province. The USGS report set the earthquakes at magnitudes of 6 and 6.3.

The area was jolted by several aftershocks, one at a magnitude of 4.5. Fear of the quake sent fearful residents running into the streets.

State TV said the quake was felt in Kerman and Fars provinces, both located in the north of Hormozgan province.

Mehdi Dousti, governor of Hormozgan province said that we do not ask people to stay at their home because of the number of aftershocks.

Dousti added that police are providing security for people who are staying away from their homes.

The spokesman for the country’s emergency department, Mojtaba Khaledi, said that so far, 17 people have come to hospitals, most of them in fear of the quake.

Khaledi asked people to be cautious for at least two days. The report said President Ebrahim Raisi ordered his senior vice-president, Mohammad Mokhber, to visit Hormozgan province as soon as possible.

Raisi also urged all responsible bodies to take care people who suffered injuries and damages.

The report said assessment teams had deployed to analyse the situation.

Iranian social media carried photos of damage from the quakes, including one of a wall that had collapsed on a car.

Iran lies on major seismic faults and experiences one earthquake a day on average. In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people. A magnitude 7 earthquake that struck western Iran in 2017 killed more than 600 people and injured more than 9,000.

Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2021

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