5.9-magnitude quake strikes Iran

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Authorities are conducting rescue operations in over 40 villages.

Numerous smaller quakes, mostly below 2.0-magnitude, also have shaken the area north of Ventura, the agency says.

A 3.4 magnitude quake hit Ventura overnight on Thursday, according to the United States Geological Survey.

The European Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) put the location as 112 kilometers southeast of the major city of Tabriz.

A damaged vehicle is seen under the ruins, after an quake hit the Varankesh village in Eastern Azerbaijan province, northwest of Tehran.

The shaking reportedly sparked panic among the locals, who rushed onto the streets, fleeing their houses.

In the last 10 days, there has been one natural disaster of magnitude 3.0 or greater centered nearby.

In 2012, more than 300 people died in two earthquakes that struck near the city of some 1.56 million people.

The head of the crisis management department of the East Azarbaijan Province said the casualties are likely to increase.

Iran is located on major seismic faults and experiences one natural disaster a day on average.

Earthquakes with a magnitude of 5 or higher generally can cause substantial damage.

On November 12, 2017, the western province of Kermanshah was hit by a major 7.3-magnitude quake that killed 620 people.

The deadliest occurred in 2003 when a magnitude 6.6 quake struck the southeastern city of Bam, killing some 26,000 people.

At least five killed, over 300 injured in Iran earthquake
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