TEHRAN: A night-time earthquake in northwestern Iran on Friday killed five people and injured 120, according to early reports on state television.
The 5.9-magnitude quake struck about 120 kilometres southeast of the city of Tabriz, in East Azerbaijan Province, in the early hours of the morning, the Iranian Seismological Center said.
Described as “moderate”, the shallow quake was eight kilometres deep and was followed by five aftershocks.
Provincial governor, Mohammad-Reza Pourmohammadi, told local media that at least 30 houses had been destroyed.
Rescue operations were underway in 41 rural villages, but the damage was largely concentrated in two areas.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) issued an alert warning that “significant casualties are likely and the disaster is potentially widespread”.