Iran was swept away by an M5.9 earthquake. (Image via City of Los Angeles)

M5.9 Earthquake rattles Iran, at least 5 dead and 120 injured

On early Friday, a major M5.9 earthquake with the depths of 10km rattled northwestern Iran, killing at least 5 and injuring around 120 in its wake. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the initial quake was detected around 2.00 a.m local time in Tark county, a rural area about 35 miles from the town of Hashtrud in East Azerbaijan Province.

The initial Tark quake was followed by 40 aftershocks, causing the Iranian people to flee in terror. During fleeing, some were injured. USGS also issued a warning that the death toll might be increasing and the quake might widespread.

An initial report stated that three small villages near the epicenter were destroyed in the quake.

Mohammad Baqer Honar, crisis management chief of the province, confirmed that eight rescue teams were deployed to the area.

Iran is located above a major fault line between the Arabian and Eurasian plates which might be the major cause of why it has encountered many earthquakes in the past.

In November 2018, the Iran – Iraq border was struck by an M6.3 earthquake that killed 361 people in its wake. The same spot was also hit by a more powerful M7.3 earthquake that killed around 400 people.

The earthquake, occurred in 2003 when the southeastern city of Bam was struck by an M6.6 earthquake, was considered the deadliest in the century, killing 26,000 people.

In 1990, an M7.4 earthquake in Northern Iran killed at least 40,000 people, injured 300,000, and destroyed dozens of towns and 2,000 villages.