Magnitude 5.6 Quake Hits Southeast Iran – TV

DUBAI, Sept 7 (Reuters) – A 5.6 magnitude earthquake shook southeastern Iran on Friday, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, Iranian state television reported.

“The affected area is 80 km (50 miles) from the nearest town. Our units have not reached it yet, and locals have not reported anything yet,” Abdolrahman Shahnavazi, the provincial head of disaster management, told state television.

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The head of the country’s emergency services, Pirhossein Koulivand, told the television that rescue teams, including a helicopter-borne unit had been sent to the area but had yet to report any damage or injuries.

The U.S. Geological Survey put the earthquake’s magnitude at 5.5 and said it struck 200 km southwest of the city of Zahedan at a depth of 26 km.

Iran is crisscrossed by major geological fault lines and has suffered several devastating earthquakes in recent years. Last November, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit western Kermanshah province, killing at least 620 people and injuring thousands.

In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 quake in southeastern Kerman province killed 31,000 people and flattened the historic city of Bam.

(Reporting by Dubai newsroom and Catherine Evans in London Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg)