Skooter reporting 08/12/12
In northwestern Iran on Saturday, two strong temblors totally flat villages and damaged homes, leaving at least 180 people dead and more than 1,350 others were injured. As aftershocks shuddered the area, thousands of people spent the night outdoors.
Saturday’s first quake hit at 4:53 p.m., having a magnitude of 6.4 and struck 60 kilometers northeast of the city of Tabriz at a depth of 9.9 kilometers, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. According to Khalil Saei, local Crisis Committee chief, its epicenter was in the region between the towns of Ahar and Haris, about 500 kilometers northwest of the capital Tehran.
The second quake occurred 11 minutes later, having a magnitude of 6.3, the U.S.G.S. reported. Its epicenter was 48 kilometers northeast of Tabriz at a depth of 9.8 kilometers.
It was reported that the temblors struck the towns of Ahar, Haris and Varzaqan in East Azerbaijan province. About six villages were totally devastated, and 60 others suffered damage about 50 to 80 percent, it said. About 10 aftershocks rattled the same area extending to a wide region near the Caspian Sea, resulting panic among the population.
Update: Latest death toll - 220