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Magnitude-4.5 quake strikes northwestern Iran

Iran-Turkey border (M_karzarj/WikiCommons)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.5 struck northwestern Iran, near the border with Turkey, state media reported.

The official news agency IRNA reported on December 20 that the quake struck the region of Qotur in Iran’s West Azerbaijan Province at a shallow depth of 5 kilometers.

IRNA did not report if the quake had caused any casualties or damage.

A magnitude-5.7 earthquake in February in the same area on the Iran-Turkey border killed nine people in Turkey, injured more than a hundred in villages and towns in both countries, and caused buildings to collapse across southeastern Turkey.

Iran sits on top of major tectonic plates and experiences frequent seismic activity.

A 7.3-magnitude quake in the western province of Kermanshah killed 620 people in November 2017.

In 2003, a 6.6-magnitude quake destroyed the ancient mud-brick city of Bam in Iran’s southeast, killing at least 31,000 people.

Iran’s deadliest quake was a 7.4-magnitude tremor in 1990 that killed 40,000 people, injured 300,000 others, and left half a million homeless in the country’s north.