Panic as Iran quake sends tremors
across GulfBuildings evacuated in Dubai
A powerful earthquake rattled Iran on Tuesday, and
was felt in the Gulf and South Asia where at least five people died and
frightened office workers fled their buildings, reports said.
Seismological Centre said on its website that the 7.5-magnitude quake struck at
3:14 pm (1044 GMT) in the southeast near the Islamic republic's border with
Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The website of the US Geological Survey put the
magnitude of the quake at 7.8, and said it struck near the Iranian city of
Khash, in the province of Sistan Baluchistan.
In Pakistan, the quake
brought down homes, killing at least five people and injuring others, a hospital
"We have received five dead bodies," Ashraf Baloch said by
telephone from Mashkail in Washuk district, around three kilometres (1.8 miles)
from the border with Iran.
Seven people were reportedly hurt in Iran, but
there was no immediate official confirmation of any deaths in the
Iran's official IRNA news agency said crisis management
authorities had declared a state of emergency in the quake-hit area.
quake is unprecedented in 56 years" for Iran, Mehdi Zare, an official at the
Seismological Centre, told state television without elaborating.
of Iran's Red Crescent rescue corps, Mahmoud Mozafar, said communications to the
stricken areas have been cut by the quake.
The earthquake also shook
buildings in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, across the waters of the Gulf in the United
Arab Emirates. It was also felt in the Saudi capital Riyadh and in
In the tourist hub of Dubai, residential and office buildings were
evacuated and thousands of people gathered outside
"Everybody's on the streets. There's a state of panic," said
the director of an insurance company in the city centre who identified himself
only as Rami.
The grandiose Dubai Mall was completely evacuated,
according to employees who said people were evacuated from towers in Downtown
Dubai, home to the world's tallest building.
The quake was also strongly
felt in Kuwait, particularly in coastal areas, and in the Bahraini capital
Manama, where buildings in the central financial district were
The earthquake was felt across northern India, including in
the capital New Delhi where tremors rattled buildings and led many office
workers to run into the street as a precaution.
There were no immediate
reports of any damage or casualties in India, but concern remains high just 10
days after a building collapse in Mumbai killed 72 people.
"We felt the
jerks," said S.C. Basu, a retired government engineer who lives in the east of
the Indian capital. "Our beds shook and crockery rattled. Many people left for
The deputy head of Iran's state crisis management organisation,
Morteza Akbarpour, told Fars news agency casualties should be low considering
the rural setting of the stricken area.
The quake comes a week after a
strong earthquake struck near Iran's Gulf port city of Bushehr, killing at least
30 people and injuring 800 but leaving Iran's only nuclear power plant