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TEHRAN, Iran — At least five people were killed and 49 injured in a magnitude-6.1 earthquake in southern Iran on Saturday, state television reported, followed by two strong quakes of up to 6.3 magnitude.
Some 24 tremors, two with a magnitude of 6.3 and 6.1, followed the 2 a.m. local time quake that flattened the village of Sayeh Khosh near Iran’s Gulf coast in Hormozgan province. The most recent tremor occurred around 8 a.m., officials told state TV.
Rescue teams were deployed near the epicenter, Sayeh Khosh village, which is home to around 300 people in Hormozgan province, some 620 miles south of the capital, Tehran, the report said.
“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.
People went into the streets as aftershocks continued to jolt the area after the early morning quake, which also damaged buildings and infrastructure.
Emergency services spokesperson Mojtaba Khaledi told state TV that half of the 49 people injured had been discharged from hospitals.
The earthquake was felt in many neighboring countries, the report said. Officials also said that the search and rescue operations had ended.
The area has seen several moderate earthquakes in recent weeks. In November, one man died following two magnitude-6.4 and 6.3 earthquakes.
Iran lies on major seismic faults and experiences one earthquake a day on average. In 2003, a magnitude-6.6 earthquake flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people. A magnitude-7 earthquake that struck western Iran in 2017 killed more than 600 people and injured more than 9,000.