At least five people were killed by a 6.1-magnitude earthquake in southern Iran early on Saturday, state media reported, with the area also hit later by two strong quakes of up to 6.3 magnitude.
Tremors were also felt in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Pakistan and Afghanistan, according to social media users.
“Five people have died in the earthquake … and so far 12 are hospitalised,” Mehrdad Hassanzadeh, head of emergency management in Hormozgan Province on Iran’s Gulf coast, told state TV. “Rescue work has been carried out and we are now providing tents as emergency housing.”
State news agency IRNA said a 6.3-magnitude earthquake and a 6.1-magnitude quake followed the first 6.1-magnitude quake that flattened the village of Sayeh Khosh near Iran’s Gulf coast. There were more than a dozen aftershocks.
“All of the victims died in the first earthquake and no one was harmed in the next two severe quakes as people were already outside their homes,” said Foad Moradzadeh, governor of Bandar Lengeh country, quoted by the state news agency IRNA.
Meanwhile, Khaleej Times reported that tremors were also felt in parts of the United Arab Emirates.
Major geological fault lines crisscross Iran, which has suffered several devastating earthquakes in recent years. In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 quake in Kerman province killed 31,000 people and flattened the ancient city of Bam.
According to Gulf News, two earthquakes of magnitude 6.3 hit southern Iran in the early hours of Saturday, with tremors felt from both in the UAE.
The initial quake struck at 1.32 am near Bandar Khamir at a depth of 10km, according to the UAE National Centre of Meteorology (NCM). The second earthquake hit at 3.24 am. The NCM later reported fresh tremors at 7.29 am on Saturday.
Between the two quakes, aftershocks of 4.6 and 4.4 magnitude struck at 2.43 am and 3.13 am respectively.
Tremors were felt in several areas of the UAE, including all seven emirates, according to eyewitnesses and social media users.
The tremors did not have any impact on the UAE, the NCM said.