Eight confirmed dead following earthquake in eastern Iran
The aftermath of the earthquake (Photo: Mojtaba Gorgi / MEHR News / AFP)
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An earthquake struck Eastern Iran early on Wednesday evening, killing eight people and injuring 12, Reuters reported.
The earthquake, measuring 5.5 on the richter scale, tore down buildings in villages across the district of Zohan in the South Khorasan province, close to the Afghan border, forcing many to flee their homes, according Fars news agency.
"Eight people have been killed in the earthquake area and one person is missing. Unfortunately a number of those injured have lost their lives in the last few hours," Khorasan's crisis management director Mohammad Ali Akhundi, told Fars last night.
The most powerful tremor, measuring 3.1 on the richer scale, struck the city of Zahan at around 00:08 local time (20:38 GMT). Strong after shocks and tremors are reportedly still being felt across the district.
Rescue teams have launched operations in the affected areas to search for people stuck under the debris.
Tehran's deputy emergency services director, Mohammad Sarvar, said the number of confirmed dead could rise.