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Strong quake hits south Iran, no damage reported

Written by: Staff
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TEHRAN, Mar 25 (Reuters) An earthquake measuring 6.0 struck Iran's southern province of Hormuzgan today but there were no reports of casualties or damage, a top local official said.

''The earthquake, with a magnitude of 6.0, was centred near the rural area of Fin in Hormuzgan province,'' Farhad Jabari, head of the Red Crescent rescue service in Hormuzgan told Reuters by telephone. ''Initial assessments show there was no heavy damage in the area hit by the quake.'' ''There might be some minor damage to the nearby villages,'' Jabari said, before leaving to inspect the area.

Fin, with a population of about 15,000, lies some 70 kilometres north of the southern port city of Bandar Abbas on the Gulf, home to one of the Islamic Republic's key refineries.

Jabari said Bandar Abbas and its refinery were unaffected.

The official IRNA news agency said earlier the quake shook areas near the Gulf island of Qeshm off Hormuzgan's south coast at 10.58 a.m. (1258 hrs Ist).

Qeshm is the biggest island in the Gulf and is a free-trade zone with a population of about 120,000.

Ten people were killed and 50 injured when an earthquake measuring 5.9 razed mud-brick villages of Qeshm in November.

REUTERS KD BST1533

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