TEHRAN // Iranian state TV is reporting that three people died in the 5.9 magnitude earthquake that shook the country's remote northeast overnight. Forty others were injured. The quake struck at 11:53 pm local time in Semnan province. The report says two children and a woman died and that the toll was not higher because the area is sparsely populated. Fifteen homes were damaged. The US Geological Survey put the quake's strength at magnitude 5.7.
Iran is located on seismic fault lines and on average experiences at least one slight earthquake a day. A magnitude 6.6 quake flattened the historic southeastern city of Bam in 2003, killing 26,000 people. * AP