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Northwest Iran hit by 5-magnitude tremor

Source: ISNA

After five days from the deadly twin earthquakes in northwest Iran, another 5-magnitude tremor rocked the area Wednesday night. The earthquake came at a depth of 4 kilometers under the earth surface at 22:19 local time near Varzaqan, one of the hardest-hit towns in the major quakes on Saturday. No deaths and injuries are reported so far.

Varzaghan, East Azerbaijan province, Iran (View Larger Map )

Also on Tuesday evening, Varzaqan located in East Azerbaijan province, was jolted by an aftershock measuring 5.3 Richter scale. The quake happened at a depth of 6 kilometers.

Saturday's first quake measured 6.2 on the moment magnitude scale and hit Ahar town at 16:53 local time and the second struck Varzaqan shortly after that at 17:00, according to Tehran University's Seismological Center. Since then more than 270 tremors happened in the area.

A total of 300.000 people have been affected by the quakes that were felt in five provinces of West and East Azerbaijan, Ardebil, Zanjan and Gilan.306 were left dead.

130 villages sustained damage ranging from 70 to 100 percent and 20 others were completely destroyed.

Iran is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, being crossed by several major fault lines.

The worst in recent times hit Bam in southeastern Kerman province in December 2003, killing 31,000 people - about a quarter of its population - and destroying the city's ancient mud-built citadel

The deadliest quake in the country was in June 1990 and measured 7.7 on the Richter scale. About 37,000 people were killed and more than 100,000 injured in the northwestern provinces of Gilan and Zanjan. It devastated 27 towns and about 1,870 villages.

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