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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Huge 7.8-magnitude earthquake hits near Iran-Pakistan border; reportedly felt as far as in Delhi too


Huge 7.8-magnitude earthquake hits near Iran-Pakistan border

Every now and then, the brute power of nature subdues mankind, often leaving a disaster in its trail…. There is news of a major earthquake in the  region near the Iran-Pakistan border, less than a week after a quake in Iran killed at least 37 people, the Associated Press reported. The U.S. Geological Survey said the 7.8 quake struck the slightly populated region. There were no immediate reports of injuries, though some newssites put it that hundreds are feared killed; the quake is reported to have been felt as far away as New Delhi and Gulf cities of Dubai and Bahrain.

BBC quoting the US Geological Survey reports that the epicentre of the 7.8 magnitude quake was near the south-east city of Khash, close to the Pakistani border.  It is stated that Offices were evacuated in Abu Dhabi and tall buildings swayed in the Indian capital Delhi, witnesses said. Iranian state TV has reported at least 40 people killed. However, one official was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying he feared hundreds had died.

South-east Iranian province of Sistan Baluchistan, near border with Pakistan Sparsely populated area made up of mountains and desert. Many houses built of mud bricks. The earthquake struck in the province of Sistan Baluchistan at about 15:14 local time (10:44 GMT), close to the cities of Khash, with a population of nearly 180,000, and Saravan, with 250,000. It adds that at least five people died in Pakistan, near the border with Iran, hospital and local government officials said. All communications to the region have been cut. The Iranian Red Crescent said it was sending 20 search-and-rescue teams with three helicopters to the area.
photo courtesy : bbc.co.uk

Some reports state that this is  the biggest earthquake in Iran in 40 years’ Iran's Fars news agency reports  that people in the city of Zahedan poured into the streets when the earthquake struck. Most of Iran's nuclear-related facilities are located in central Iran or its west, including the Bushehr nuclear power plant on the Gulf coast. Iran sits on major geological faultlines and has suffered several devastating earthquakes, including a 6.6 magnitude quake in 2003 that flattened the city of Bam, in Iran's far southeast, killing more than 25,000 people.

Miles away in  Delhi, in India, some state that they felt the tremor with workstations shaking as also the building as people rushed out of their offices and homes. Earlier in the day two smaller tremors were felt in India's Himalayan region close to the Chinese border. An official at India's disaster management authority said the tremors felt in New Delhi and across northern India were because of the earthquake in Iran. Tremors lasted for around 30 seconds. here are  reports of  that tremors  were felt in Qatar, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in the Gulf, in Multan in Pakistan and elsewhere.

Gulf News puts that  residential and commercial buildings and hospitals in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi were evacuated. People were seen standing outside buildings fearing aftershocks. Jebel Ali, Sheikh Zayed Road and Emaar Square all saw crowds under buildings after the first quake. Qatar has officially warned its citizens to expect aftershocks later today. Residents in the UAE have been told to vacate buildings if aftershocks strike. The UAE's National Centre of Metrology and Seismology has confirmed with Emirates 24|7 that the epicentre was 650km off the coast of Ras Al Khaimah. Although people were tweeting about Burj Khalifa being evacuated,  Emirates 24/7 states  that nothing such had happened.

Nature shakes and instills fears in the minds…

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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