Magnitude 5.4 earthquake jolts northeastern Iran

An earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale struck northeastern Iran's West Azerbaijan province on Wednesday afternoon, emergency officials said.

The quake shook the city of Khoy, the most populous city in the province, located 807 km northwest of the capital Tehran.

According to the Iranian Seismological Center affiliated with the Institute of Geophysics at Tehran University, the earthquake occurred at 1:38 p.m. local time at the depth of 12 km from the earth's surface.

The high-intensity jolt was also felt in nearby provinces, including East Azerbaijan, residents in the provincial capital Tabriz told Anadolu.

There were no immediate reports of casualties, but damage has been reported in some parts of Khoy, located north of the provincial capital Urmia.

Local media quoted authorities in Khoy saying that several teams had been dispatched to the worst affected areas to assess the scale of damage.

Officials of the Red Crescent Society in West Azerbaijan said no casualties were reported in the quake, but houses in several villages close to the epicenter were damaged.

In October, a 5.4 magnitude earthquake in the city injured nearly 400 people and partially or fully damaged hundreds of urban and rural residential properties.

Iran is located in a seismically active zone and has seen many catastrophic earthquakes in the past years.

The most devastating earthquake to hit the country in recent history was in 2013 when at least 34,000 people died in the city of Bam in southeastern Kerman province. The quake measured 6.7 on the Richter scale.

In recent months, a string of high and medium-intensity earthquakes have hit provinces in southern and northern Iran.

Last month, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake rocked northeastern Iran's South Khorasan province, weeks after a 5.4 magnitude quake was reported in the same province, with its epicenter in the Ersk region.

In July, at least five people were killed and more than 80 injured after a 6.1 magnitude quake struck the southern province of Hormozgan situated along the coast of the Persian Gulf.

Source: Anadolu Agency