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Iran Earthquake Kills 3, Injures 800

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A 5.9-magnitude earthquake hit northwestern Iran overnight, killing at least three people and injuring more than 800 in the region near the border with Turkey, state officials and media said Sunday. 

Panicked residents fled their homes as buildings collapsed and rubble crushed cars, with hundreds seeking shelter from freezing winter conditions in evacuation centres as more than 20 aftershocks rattled the region. 

The shallow quake hit the city of Khoy, with a population of around 200,000, in West Azerbaijan province at 9:44 pm (1814 GMT) Saturday, said the Seismological Center of the University of Tehran.

In February 2020, a 5.7-magnitude earthquake struck the western Turkey village of Habash-e Olya and killed at least nine people.

Iran’s deadliest recorded quake was a 7.4-magnitude tremor in 1990 that killed 40,000 people, injured 300,000 and left half a million homeless in the country’s north.

In 2003, a 6.6-magnitude quake in southeastern Iran levelled the ancient mud-brick city of Bam and killed at least 31,000 people.

In November 2017, a 7.3-magnitude quake in Iran’s western province of Kermanshah killed 620 people.

And in December 2019 and January 2020, two earthquakes struck near Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant.

Iran’s Gulf Arab neighbours have raised concerns about the reliability of the country’s sole nuclear power facility and the risk of radioactive leaks in case of a major earthquake.

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