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Successive quakes damage houses in city of Khorramabad in western Iran

Khorramabad, Nov 22, IRNA -- Successive earthquakes have incurred property damage in several villages in the western city of Khorramabad in the Lorestan province, but there is no report yet on probable casualties, the provincial governor said Monday.

Speaking to IRNA, Gov. Ebrahim Alipourian stated that at least six tremors have rocked the region in succession since overnight, damaging houses in Jolgeh Khalaj, Afrineh, Ma'moulan and several other villages.

He said given that the villages are demographically scattered, final estimates of damage have yet to be announced.

The strongest quake, measuring 4.9 degrees on the open-ended Richter scale, was reported in Poldokhtar at 07:31 hours (0401 GMT) Monday.

It was succeeded by three earthquakes measuring 4.9, 4.0 and 3.5 degrees, seismological bases of the Tehran University said.

Shoushtar, a city in the southern province of Khuzestan has been hit by at least 14 aftershocks since a quake hit it Friday night.

Iranians are still haunted by harrowing images of the world's worst disaster in 2003, in which more than 41,000 people were killed in the ancient city of Bam.

According to the Zurich-based Swiss Re, the earthquake in Bam on December 26 was the fourth largest in terms of victims since 1970. The third largest was the quake in Gilan, northern Iran, which left 50,000 dead in 1990.

The quake sent shudders across the Iranian capital -- a city of about 14 million -- where, some experts warn, can suffer in million if it is struck by a strong tremor.

They have warned that most of the buildings in the sprawling Iranian capital would hardly withstand a strong tremor, blaming builders.

Last week, Iran admitted that poor enforcement of building regulations had added to the death toll from the country's regular devastating earthquakes.

"Our country is likely to have natural disasters but our people do not deserve these losses because of mismanagement before the earthquakes occur," Interior Ministry Abdolvahed Mousavi-Lari was quoted as saying.

... Payvand News - 11/22/04 ... --

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