A powerful earthquake that struck southeastern Iran was felt in several countries in Asia on Tuesday, rocking buildings in the Indian capital of New Delhi, sending panicked resident of Karachi, Pakistan, fleeing into the streets and sending tremors through Persian Gulf states. Iranian officials said they expected hundreds of deaths.
An Iranian official told state television that he expected hundreds of deaths because of the severity of the earthquake. The worst-hit area, along Iran’s southeastern border, is home to nearly 2 million people, who live in three main cities, Zahaedan, the provincial center, and the epicenter of the earthquake between the cities of Saravan and Khash, where roughly 400,000 people live, the semi-official Tabnak Website reported.
The USGS reported that the earthquake had a depth of 9.7 miles. Such deep quakes are rare and typically have greater destructive capability.
Iran has often been the epicenter of powerful earthquakes, some of which have taken tens of thousands of lives. In 2003, an 6.6 earthquake near the city of Bam killed at least 26,000 people, and in 1990, at least 30,000 people also died in a quake along the Caspian Sea. Just last week a 6.1 quake hit in Busher province, home to Iran’s main nuclear reactor, killing more thanr 30 people.