Update 1:56 p.m.: Things seem to be getting worse in Pakistan while the Iranian government is stil denying there have been any deaths on their side of the border. The AFP reports the Pakistani military are mobilized and helping people in the Mashikail area after some homes were flattened in the area following the quake. Some 34 people have died in Pakistan so far while over 80 are injured.
Update 9:11 a.m.: An official for an Iranian crisis center is denying the Reuters report of hundreds of people dying on state television. Morteza Akbarpour was quoted on INSA as saying, "so far, [the quake] has not caused any fatalities." "There were no fatalities in the towns around the epicentre," he added.
Update 9:05 a.m.: The numbers are still coming out in Iran. Iran's state-owned Press TV are no retracting their 40 dead figure, and revising it back to "dozens" killed in Tuesday's quake. "Iran's Red Crescent said it was facing a 'complicated emergency situation' in the area with villages scattered over desolate hills and valleys," the Associated Press reports. On April 9, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake killed 37 people and injured 850 more as it flattened homes and shook buildings near Busheher.
Original Post: A powerful seismic event occurred near the Iran-Pakistan border on Tuesday, and some are expecting it may cause hundreds of deaths. At least 40 people are dead in Iran and seven more people in Pakistan, but those numbers are thought to be on the rise, according to multiple outlets. "It was the biggest earthquake in Iran in 40 years and we are expecting hundreds of dead," an Iranian government official told Reuters.
Iran's geological survey measured the quake to be a 7.5 magnitude, while the U.S. Geological Survey put it at 7.8 with a depth of 15.2 kilometers. The quake was centered in a sparsely populated mountainous and desert area in Iran, but the quake was so strong it could be felt as far away as Peshawar, Pakistan, and Dubai. The closest cities to the quake's epicenter, Saravan and Khash, have a combined 400,000 people. The phone lines in some areas near where the quake struck have been cut.
Thankfully, there's no imminent nuclear danger because of this quake. Iranian state TV already reported that the Bushehr nuclear plant is far away from the seismic event and is not in danger. This is a breaking story; stay tuned for updates.
Update, 8:52 a.m.: Here's a map showing the area where the two central cities are located. (You may have to zoom out.)
View Saravan in a larger map
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.