TEHRAN // An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale hit near Iran’s Shiite Muslim holy city of Mashhad on Wednesday, killing at least two people as residents fled onto the streets and aftershocks shook the region.
Iranian state radio said the epicentre of the quake appeared to be the Sefid Sang district, a remote mountainous area home to 5,000 people 80 kilometres southeast of Mashhad. It said rescue teams and helicopters had deployed in Iran’s Khorasan Razavi province to the area to assess the damage.
“It was horrible. It made a lot of noise. Everything was shaking,” a Mashhad resident said.
Iranian news agencies posted videos online of people in the street and pictures of cracks and damage to some buildings. Press TV, the English-language arm of Iranian state television, said at least two people were killed. The Fars news agency said five people were injured and that mobile phone service and landline telephone lines had been affected.
Iran lies on a major fault line and suffers frequent earthquakes.
A 2003 quake killed at least 31,000 people and all but destroyed the historic city of Bam in the southeast of the country.
* Agence France-Presse and Associated Press