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5th quake hits Fars province of Iran

An earthquake measuring 3.5 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale shook the southern province of Fars in Iran on Saturday morning for the fifth time, IRNA reported from Shiraz.

The seismological base of the Geophysics Institute affiliated to Tehran University said the tremor, epicentered 215 kilometers southeast of Shiraz, occurred at 10:25 hours local time (0555 GMT).

There were no reports of any casualty or damage.

Meanwhile, another quake with a magnitude of 4.2 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale hit Zarrin-Dasht, in the same province, on Friday at 14:53 local time (1023 GMT).

The seismological base of Shiraz registered the epicenter of the quake in the same region between Darab and Jahrom.

Zarrin-Dasht, with a population of 70,000, is located 300 kilometers southeast of Shiraz.

In related news, one was killed and 20 others injured after two relatively strong earthquakes successively hit Zarrin-Dasht on Thursday night.

The tremors, measuring 5.6 and 5.8 degrees on the Richter scale, also shook several other cities, including Jahrom, and the neighboring villages.

The quakes severely damaged power and telephone lines, disrupted water supply and destroyed a police outpost in the village of Debran.

The seismological base of Tehran University's Geophysics Institute registered the first quake, with an intensity of 5.6, at 21:36 (17:06GMT) Thursday. The second temblor, measuring 5.8 degrees, struck at 22:12 (1742 GMT), they said, adding the quakes were succeeded by 15 aftershocks.

Relief workers were dispatched to the cities of Darab, Fasa, Jahrom, Estahban and Shiraz and a task force office was set up to coordinate relief and rescue operations in the affected regions.

Quake experts Thursday night assessed the damage caused by the quake which hit Zarrin-Dasht district in this province at more than 150 billion rials, said district governor Mohammad Moussavi here on Saturday.

Moussavi told IRNA that the strong quake damaged by 20-90 percent some 3,600 houses in the district.

He said a considerable number of government buildings including Bank Mellat, the police headquarters, 15 schools, Debran and Hajiabad health centers and other family health centers were drastically affected by the quake.

Moussavi further said that although relief teams have arrived to assist quake victims, tents and drinking water are still in short supply.

Iran sits on some of the world's active seismic faultlines and tremors of a mild magnitude are almost a daily occurrence.

Since 1991, at least 17,000 Iranians have been killed and more than 53,000 others injured in earthquakes of varying intensities.

... Payvand News - 7/12/03 ... --

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