Tuesday, December 21, 2010

6.5-Magnitude Quake Jolts Southeastern Iran


At least 11 people are dead and 1,800 homes damaged. Downed phone lines and blocked roads hamper rescue efforts.

Reporting from Beirut — A powerful earthquake struck a sparsely populated stretch of southeastern Iran late Monday, killing at least 11 people, injuring at least 40 and damaging 1,800 homes, state media reported early Tuesday.

The 6.5-magnitude quake struck 30 villages populated by no more than 4,000 people, state radio reported. Rescue efforts are hampered by downed phone lines and landslides that have blocked access to certain villages, official media cited officials as saying.

Almost exactly seven years ago in the same region, an earthquake measuring 6.6 struck the nearby city of Bam, killing more than 25,000 people and destroying a magnificent medieval castle that was one of Iran's most treasured archeological sites.

See how the lunar eclipse may have contributed to this quake here.

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