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Moderate Quake Strikes Near Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Plant

An Iranian flag flies in Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant, during an official ceremony to kick-start works on a second reactor at the facility, November 10, 2019
DUBAI, Dec 27 (Reuters) -

An earthquake of magnitude of 4.9 struck near Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant on Friday but an Iranian emergency services official said there were no immediate reports of damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey earlier said the quake had a magnitude of 5.1.

"Survey teams have been dispatched to the area and fortunately ... there are no reports on damage, except some landslides in a mountainous area," Jahangir Dehqani, the head of the provincial emergency department, told state television.

A quake of 4.9 magnitude can cause moderate damage.

It was centered 53 km (33 miles) east of Bushehr, a nuclear plant on Iran's southern coast on the Gulf and was relatively shallow - only 10 km deep according to Iranian media - which would have amplified the shaking.

Criss-crossed by several major fault lines, Iran is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world. In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 quake in Kerman province killed 31,000 people and flattened the ancient city of Bam.

In 2017, a magnitude 7 earthquake that struck western Iran killed more than 600 people and injured more than 9,000.