SIX-MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE HITS EASTERN IRAN

 
 TEHRAN (Reuters) - A magnitude 6 earthquake hit Iran early Friday in an area near the eastern city of Kerman, local officials said, without speaking of casualties. 

The epicenter was 10 kilometers deep and about 58 kilometers northeast of Kerman, followed by a five-degree aftershock after about 10 minutes, according to the US Geological Institute. For its part, the earthquake center of the University of Tehran, an earthquake measuring 6.1 degrees, followed by two earthquakes, the first strongly 5.1 degrees and the second was 4 degrees, 59 kilometers north of Kerman near the town of Hjdk. 

"I am in the area of about 50 villages," deputy governor Kerman Mustapha Mousavi told state television. "The earthquake has caused damage to eight villages, but we have not reported any deaths so far."

"At the moment, no one has been reported, but there are damage in a number of populated villages," Hossein Ali Mehrabyzadeh, an official at the crisis unit in Kerman province, told Iranian television. "The roads leading to some villages are blocked and the walls of some old buildings have collapsed," the media quoted another local official as saying. Eight teams of the Iranian Red Crescent were sent to the area by helicopter, the WHO official said. 

Kerman residents took to the streets and some rushed to the gas stations, news agencies reported.

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