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Published on : Friday, November 29, 2013
An earthquake of magnitude of 5.7 on the Richter Scale on the Gulf coast near Iran’s sole nuclear power plant killed seven people and injured 30 on Thursday, emergency response chief Hassan Qadami told state media.
“So far, there are seven dead and 30 injured receiving treatment at a hospital,” the official IRNA news agency quoted Mr Qadami.
The quake’s epicentre was near Borazjan, about 60km from Bushehr, where Iran has its Russian-built reactor.
In April, a 6.1 magnitude-earthquake killed at least 37 and injured hundreds in a town near Bushehr. The nuclear plant wasn’t damaged then. Iran is located in a zone of tectonic compression where the Arabian plate is moving into the Eurasian plate, leaving more than 90 per cent of the country crisscrossed by fault lines. A massive quake in December 2003 struck the southern city of Bam, killing 26,000 people and destroying its ancient mud-built citadel.
Iran’s Arab neighbours across the Gulf have often raised concern over the reliability of the Bushehr plant and the risks of radioactive leaks in case of a major quake though Iran has always refuted those claims
Gulf monarchies, like Western powers, fear Iran may develop nuclear weapons under cover of its disputed nuclear programme.
However, Iran and Russia insist that Tehran respects world standards.