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AKIPRESS.COM - The quake hit Lorestan, Ilam and Khuzestan provinces of Iran at 07:02 hours local time. The earthquake was also felt in Markazi province.
The quake was registered in an area located at 47.7 degrees longitude and 32.7. degrees latitude. It destroyed telecommunications department in the city of Abdanan in Ilam province making it impossible to learn the scale of damage inflicted on the citys rural areas, IRNA reports.
According to early reports, 50 people were injured by the tremor which also destroyed clay houses in Murmuri district in Ilam province. Governor of Abdanan Majid Asgari told IRNA this morning that rural areas seemed to suffer heavy damages by the strong quake, adding that some villages were totally destroyed.
A number of aftershocks still shakes the region, sending panic stricken residents into the streets. No reports have been available yet on the number of possible casualties caused by the tremble.
Teams to evaluate the extent of the damage inflicted on the rural areas as well as rescue teams were sent to the quake stricken areas. Iran sits astride several major faults in the earths crust, and is prone to frequent earthquakes, many of which have been devastating.
The worst in recent times hit Bam in Kerman province in December 2003, killing 31,000 people - about a quarter of its population - and destroying the citys ancient mud-built citadel.
The deadliest quake in the country was in June 1990 and measured 7.7 on the Richter scale. About 37,000 people were killed and more than 100,000 injured in the northwestern provinces of Gilan and Zanjan. It devastated 27 towns and about 1,870 villages.