VOA – A magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck southern Iran early Friday near the Islamic Republic’s only nuclear power plant. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
“No damage has been reported to us so far based on the checks by the Red Crescent Society, village councilors and officials in the area,” Jahangir Dehqan, the head of the provincial emergency department, told the semi-official news agency ISNA.
The quake hit Iran’s Bushehr province at 5:23 a.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It put the magnitude at 5.1 and the depth of the earthquake at 38 kilometers (24 miles).
Iranian state media did not immediately report on the quake. However, the Bushehr nuclear power plant was designed to withstand much stronger earthquakes.
A magnitude 5 earthquake can cause considerable damage. The quake was relatively shallow, only 38 km (23 miles) deep, which would have amplified the shaking.
Iran sits on major fault lines and is prone to near-daily earthquakes. In 2003, a 6.6-magnitude quake flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people. Bam is near the Bushehr nuclear plant, which wasn’t damaged at that time.
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