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Earthquake jolts southern Iran, killing 5
(Reuters)
Updated: 2005-11-27 20:39

An earthquake measuring at least magnitude-5.9 shook southern Iran Sunday and was felt as far away as Oman and the United Arab Emirates. Provincial officials said five people were killed and dozens were injured.

Tehran's seismologic center said the quake measured magnitude-5.9. But the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colo., said it was magnitude-6.1. A magnitude-6.0 quake can cause severe damage.

The USGS said the quake was located 35 miles southwest of the major port city of Bandar Abbas. It jolted the city and Qeshm Island, 932 miles south of the capital Tehran.

In Oman and the United Arab Emirates, buildings were evacuated and people fled into the streets.

"Power and water supplies were not affected," said Alireza Khorshidzadeh, a local journalist. "People poured into the streets, fearing aftershocks," he said.

In Dubai, one of the seven emirates of the UAE, buildings were evacuated as people scrambled for safety.

"We're all agreed that it lasted around 30 seconds or so you could feel the building moving and the coffee cups shaking," said Bina Mathews, a public relations executive.

Several buildings along Dubai's Sheik Zayed Road, the skyscraper-lined central business district, have been evacuated, including the twin Emirates Towers, the highest buildings on the street, where many international corporations and Dubai government institutions have offices.

Iran is located on a number of seismic fault lines and, on average, experiences at least one slight quake every day.

The last major quake to hit southern Iran was in February, when a magnitude-6.4 quake rocked Zarand, a town of about 15,000 people in Kerman province, about 602 miles southeast of Tehran. It killed 612 people and injured more than 1,400, leveling several villages and leaving thousands of people homeless.



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