TEHRAN: Over 70 people were injured on Wednesday when a 5.8 magnitude earthquake jolted north-western Iran near the border with Turkiye.

The quake struck near the city of Khoy, in West Azerbaijan province, at 1.38pm (1008 GMT), at a shallow depth of 10 kilometres, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The seismological centre of Tehran University said the earthquake was of 5.4 magnitude and 12 kilometres deep.

At least “70 people were injured” trying to escape to safety and more than 300 houses in 15 villages were damaged, state television said, citing officials from the area.

Iran sits astride the boundaries of several major tectonic plates and experiences frequent seismic activity.

In Feb 2020, a 5.7 magnitude earthquake that rattled the western village of Habash-i Olya killed nine people over the border in Turkiye.

Iran’s deadliest recorded quake was a 7.4-magnitude tremor in 1990 that killed 40,000 people in the country’s north, injured 300,000 and left half a million homeless.

Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2023

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