This devastating quake, measuring at least 7.5 on the Richter scale, shook the region at 3:14 p.m. local time (6:14 a.m. EDT), and reportedly caused buildings to sway as far away as New Delhi, India to the east and in cities along the Persian Gulf to the west. Initial reports put the magnitude of the quake at 7.5, but this was later increased to 7.7 and the U.S. Geologic Survey is reporting it as magnitude 7.8.
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Reports of casualties and damages are still uncertain, due to communications being down in the region, however Iran's Press TV reported that 40 people were killed, while Pakistan TV said that six people were reported killed and 50 wounded on the Pakistan side of the border, with 1,000 homes damaged by the quake.
According to Press TV, rescue teams from the Iranian Red Crescent Society have been sent to the area to assist the locals and assess the damage.
This is the second deadly earthquake to hit Iran in the past week, as a magnitude 6.1 quake struck on April 9th, killing 32 people and injuring hundreds, and causing worries about possible damage to the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant.
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A major geological faultline runs along Iran's southwestern and southern borders, and the nation has suffered several deadly earthquakes, including a magnitude 6.6 quake in 2003 that devastated the southeastern city of Bam, located nearly 400 kms to the east of this latest earthquake, claiming more than 25,000 lives.
(Image courtesy: Reuters)
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