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Toll from Iran quake put at five injuries

Press on Saturday put the toll from Thursday's earthquake in the southern Iranian city of Masjid-i-Soleyman at five people injured and about 142 houses damaged, IRNA reported.

"Up to 142 residential units sustained damages of between 10 and 70 percent, while two other units were totally destroyed," the evening Persian daily Kayhan quoted a local official as saying.

An earthquake measuring 4.1 degrees on the Richter scale hit parts of the southern Khuzestan province Thursday. The Geophysics Institute of Tehran University put the epicenter of the 60 km north of Masjid-i-Soleyman.

Kayhan, however, cited the intensity of the temblor at 4.9 degrees.

Masjid-i-Soleyman, where the first Iranian oil well was developed by now-British Petroleum, has witnessed displacement of thousands of local residents recently as poisonous gases have opened pores out of the ground, creating an atmosphere of fear.

Kayhan said gas gushes have increased following the earthquake and its aftershocks, leading to the closure of several schools and local demands from state authorities to urgently address the problem.

... Payvand News - 12/13/03 ... --

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