Two earthquakes measuring 6.2 and 6.0 on the Richter scale are known to have killed about 153 and injured up to 600 people in northwestern Iran. According to Iran's state television, hundreds of homes were damaged by the earthquake that struck near the city of Ahar, in the province of East Azerbaijan.
"The latest information received indicates that about 153 people were killed and 600 injured," said Gholamreza Massoumi, head of emergency services in the country. He said the injured had been transferred to Tabriz and Ardebil.
According to Faras news agency report, two earthquakes at magnitudes of 6.2 and 6, whose epicenter was located about sixty kilometers from Tabriz and some 10 kilometers underground, hit the region at 4:53 p.m. and 5:04 p.m. The cities of Tabriz, Ardabil, Ahar, Varzeghan, and Mehraban Heris as well as many villages have been affected by the two earthquakes and numerous aftershocks.
Deputy Head of Iran's National Disaster Management Organization Morteza Akbarpour said 66 rescuers have been dispatched to the disaster area,Faras news reported.
Iran is located on several major fault lines and has experienced many devastating earthquakes in the past. In 2003, more than 31,000 people were killed by a 6.3-magnitude earthquake which destroyed the city of Bam. Another 42,000 received injuries.
More as it becomes available.