Magnitude 5 earthquake rattles northwestern Iran

A magnitude 5 earthquake struck northwestern Iran on Thursday afternoon, officials said.

According to Hamid Mahboubi, CEO of the Red Crescent Society in the West Azerbaijan province, the tremor was reported at 3:17 p.m. local time (1147GMT) at the depth of 16 kilometers (10 miles) with the epicenter near the city of Khoy.

The earthquake was felt in many adjoining cities, including the provincial capital Urmia and neighboring East Azerbaijan province.

Mahboubi told state TV that the provincial Red Crescent Society has been put on alert and three teams have been dispatched to assess damage in the affected areas.

There are no reports of any casualties or damage to properties so far, as per preliminary reports.

Zabihollah Kazemi, the governor of Khoy, told the state-run IRNA news agency that 15 evaluation teams have been sent to quake-hit areas.

In late January, the city of Khoy was rattled by a magnitude 5.9 quake, leaving at least three people dead and more than 800 others injured, besides causing extensive damage to properties.

The quake, which occurred at a shallow depth of 7 kilometers (4 miles) near Khoy, caused partial damage to houses in at least 70 villages, according to local officials.

The mountainous province that borders Trkiye, Azerbaijan and Iraq was jolted by another 5.4 magnitude quake earlier that month, which shook the city of Khoy and caused extensive damage.

Iran is located in a seismically active zone and has been rocked by many medium to high-intensity earthquakes in the past.

The most devastating earthquake came in 2013 when at least 34,000 people died in the city of Bam in southeastern Kerman province. The quake measured 6.7 on the Richter scale.

In recent months, a string of earthquakes has hit multiple provinces in southern and northern Iran.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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