An earthquake struck southern Iran today near the nation’s only nuclear power plant, conjuring memories of the 2011 Fukushima catastrophe in Japan. But while the quake was deadly, it reportedly posed no danger to the plant.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. It Was Measured at 6.3 Magnitude
According to the USGS, the quake struck at 11:52 GMT, at 28.500°N latitude and 51.591°E longitude at a depth of 10.0km (6.2mi). It was reportedly felt across the Persian Gulf as far away as Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.
2. 30 People Are Dead and 800 Injured
Early reports said just three people had been killed, but revised estimates put the number at 30, with another 800 injured, reports the BBC:
Some 10,000 people are thought to live in the affected area in more than 50 villages, two of which have reportedly been completely levelled.
3. The Quake Struck Near a Nuclear Power Plant
Radio Free Europe reports the quake struck 89 kilometers (55 miles) southeast of the Iranian city of Bushehr. The nation’s only nuclear power plant is located 18 kilometers (11 miles) south of Bushehr, Reuters reports.
The area is a known seismic hotspot, but Iran has dismissed concerns that it’s an ill-advised location for a nuclear facility. But still fresh in the world’s memory is the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima plant, where reactors melted down after a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
4. The Quake Supposedly Posed No Danger to the Nuke Plant
Russian builder says Iran quake has not affected operations at Bushehr nuclear power plant: RIA
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) April 9, 2013
The Russian contractor who built the plant says it has not been affected by the quake, reports Russian news agency Interfax via BBC:
Staff at the complex felt the jolts but continue to work as usual, while radiation levels have not changed, an unnamed Atomstroyexport official told Interfax.
5. There Have Been Several Aftershocks
More than five aftershocks have been felt so far, the strongest measuring a magnitude of 5.4.
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