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At least five killed in magnitude 6.1 quake on Iran Gulf coast

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At least five people were killed and 49 injured by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in southern Iran early on Saturday, state media reported, with the area also hit soon after by two strong quakes of up to 6.3 magnitude. Some 24 tremors, two with a magnitude of 6.3 and 6.1, followed the 2 a.m. local time quake that flattened the village of Sayeh Khosh near Iran’s Gulf coast in Hormozgan province. The most recent tremor occurred around 8 a.m., officials told state TV.

“All of the victims died in the first earthquake and no-one was harmed in the next two severe quakes as people were already outside their homes,” said Foad Moradzadeh, governor of Bandar Lengeh country, quoted by the state news agency IRNA.

Emergency services spokesperson Mojtaba Khaledi told state TV that half of the 49 people injured had been discharged from hospitals. Officials said search and rescue operations had ended. Saeid Pourzadeh of the Kish island crisis task force said Gulf shipping and flights had not been affected by the quakes.

State TV said 150 quakes and tremors had struck western Hormozgan over the past month. Major geological fault lines crisscross Iran, which has suffered several devastating earthquakes in recent years. In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 quake in Kerman province killed 31,000 people and flattened the ancient city of Bam.

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