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Quake Strikes Oil-Rich Southwest Iran, Dozens Injured


The devastation after the earthquake in the Khuzestan Province.

Iran says a magnitude 5.7 earthquake hit a town in the country's southwest on July 8, damaging several buildings.

The report by the official IRNA news agency said that the quake hit near the town of Masjid Soleiman in Khuzestan Province, some 450 kilometers southwest of Tehran.

Mostafa Najjar, head of Iran's emergency services announced that at least 40 people have been injured.

Witnesses told Western news agencies that the temblor damaged buildings in the center of town and some older buildings collapsed completely.

State TV said rescue teams were deployed to surrounding rural areas, too.

The quake was felt across the oil-rich Khuzestan province and even in neighboring Kuwait.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake was centered 28 kilometers southeast of the town and at a depth of 10 kilometers. Several aftershocks were reported.

In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake flattened the historic city of Bam in southern Iran, killing 26,000 people.

Iran, located on major seismic faults, is hit by one earthquake per day on average.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP

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