6.1-magnitude earthquake kills two near Mashhad, Iran

A 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck northeastern Iran on Wednesday, killing at least two people, a Red Crescent Society official said.

A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck the village of Sefid Sang, near Mashhad, Iran, on Wednesday. At least two people were reported dead. Image courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey
A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck the village of Sefid Sang, near Mashhad, Iran, on Wednesday. At least two people were reported dead. Image courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey

Twenty aftershocks, measuring between magnitudes 3.1 and 4.7, followed the earthquake, which occurred at a depth of 6.2 miles and 47 miles southeast of the city of Mashhad in the village of Sefid Sang.

Initial reports said seven people were injured, and in four villages, 40 percent to 100 percent of buildings were destroyed. Some damage also occurred in Mashhad, the provincial capital of Khorasan Razavi with a population of more than 3 million people.
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The earthquake interrupted communication services in the area, and the historic Nishapur baths, an iconic element of Iranian cultural heritage, were destroyed, Iran’s Mehr news agency reported. The Holy Shrine of Imam Reza in Mashhad, the world’s largest mosque, was not damaged, the non-profit religious organization Astan Quds Razavi said.

Air medical services, rescue and relief forces, and assessment teams were sent to the area, Shahin Fathi, deputy head of rescue operations for Iran’s Interior Ministry, said.

By Ed Adamczyk