An earthquake near Iran's border with Turkmenistan has killed two people and injured hundreds, according to state media. It also caused widespread damage.
A 5.7 magnitude earthquake has struck a remote farming area in northeastern Iran, causing numerous casualties and severe damage, state media reported on Sunday, citing the country's seismological center.
The quake hit at 1800 UTC on Saturday in and around the city of Bojnurd in North Khorasan province, killing a 54-year-old woman and a teenage girl, according to the ISNA news agency. The region is some 800 kilometers (498 miles) northeast of the capital, Tehran.
ISNA said more than 370 people were also injured and more than a third of houses in the area suffered damage.
State television put the death toll higher, at three, but said only some 200 were injured. It also said the quake caused a power outage.
The US Geological Survey measured the quake at 5.8 magnitude, and said it occurred at a depth of 12.5 kilometers (7.8 miles). The epicenter was just 50 kilometers from Iran's border with Turkmenistan in the town of Pishqaleh, which has a population of about 2,000 people.
State news agency IRNA said the region was on an active fault line that extends from Turkmenistan's capital, Ashgabat, into the three Iranian provinces of North, Central (Razavi) and South Khorasan. Iran as a whole is extremely prone to quakes, with numerous major fault lines running through it.
The last major earthquake to the country was at the historic southeastern city of Bam in 2003. At least 31,000 people were killed in the disaster, which flattened the city. That earthquake was measured at 6.6 magnitude.
tj/rc (AFP, AP)