TEHRAN — A strong earthquake struck eastern Iran and north eastern Pakistan on Saturday afternoon, killing at least one person and damaging homes in at least two countries, Iranian state media reported.
The 7.3-magnitude quake hit Western Azerbaijan Province, near the border with Iran, and was centered 120 miles southwest of Saravan, in Pakistan, at a depth of 13 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said. It was only felt in Iran’s town of Saravan, and the epicenter was about 40 miles from Saravan’s border with Afghanistan, the USGS said.
Iran’s state-run Press TV television showed on its website images of debris and broken bricks and iron gates at a mosque in the Iranian city of Saravan and damage to homes and businesses in northern provinces near the Pakistan border. It reported that some structures collapsed on people.
There was no immediate word on the cause or scope of the damage. State media in Afghanistan reported that tremors were felt in several provinces including Kabul and Herat, which are both near the Pakistani border.
In June 2011, an earthquake of 6.7 magnitude struck the outskirts of Saravan in Western Azerbaijan Province. It killed nine people, injured more than 500 and damaged homes, mosques and other buildings, Iran’s official IRNA news agency reported.
Press TV also showed on its website a short video of rescuers in the town looking for missing people in a plaza. Women and children could be seen in the footage.
Two other strong quakes shook Iranian cities in recent days, including one a day before Saturday’s quake.
The U.S. Geological Survey said a 6.0-magnitude earthquake hit Ganjan, in Iran’s mountainous Sanandaj province, northwest of Saravan on Tuesday, damaging homes and causing little to no injuries.
A 5.2-magnitude quake on Tuesday shook Shahrivar City, some 150 miles north of Saravan. There were no reported casualties.
Iran sits on many major fault lines and is prone to frequent earthquakes. More than 30,000 people were killed in earthquakes in Iran and neighboring Iraq in 2003.