DUBAI (Reuters) – A magnitude 5.8 earthquake shook southeastern Iran early on Monday, following three earthquakes in the country on the previous day, including one that injured nearly 290 people in the west, state media reported.
“Up to now we only have reports of damage to some buildings and no casualties are reported,” Majid Saeedi, head of Kerman province’s crisis management body, told state television.
Rescue teams have been sent to 26 affected villages, Saeedi added.
The U.S. Geological Survey put the magnitude of the quake at 5.5, with its epicentre 23 miles (37 km) east of Kerman city. It said it was very shallow, at a depth of only 6.2 miles (10 km), which would have amplified its effect.
State media said the two earlier earthquakes, with magnitudes of 4.7 and 5.7, had damaged buildings in a few villages without causing casualties.
Morteza Salimi, head of rescue at Iran’s Red Crescent, said damage from the two earlier quakes appeared to be light. “Reports indicate that some walls have collapsed, but extensive damage has not been reported,” Salimi told IRNA.
Iran is crisscrossed by major geological fault lines and has suffered several devastating earthquakes in recent years.
Last November, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit western Kermanshah province, killing at least 620 people and injuring thousands.
In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 quake in Kerman province killed 31,000 people and flattened the historic city of Bam.