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At Least 38 Killed by Earthquake in Iran
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Two strong earthquakes jolting western Iran early Friday have killed at least 38 and injuring 700 others, state television quoted the provincial governor as saying.

The report also said that more than 40 villages had been destroyed during the quake hitting the western province of Lorestan.

The official IRNA news agency reported that the first quake, measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale, hit Boroujerd and Doroud, two cities some 300 km southwest to Tehran, at 1:05 AM local time Friday (Thursday 21:35 GMT).

The epicenter was in the mountainous areas between the two cities located latitudinally about 60 km from each other.

Two more aftershocks jolted the surrounding region then. Another strong tremor measuring 6.0 was felt in Doroud and surrounding areas at 4:47 AM local time (01:17 GMT) Friday, IRNAsaid.

Provincial officials have called for immediate shipment of such items as blankets, tents, heaters and food for the quake-stricken residents, IRNA added.
Iran sits on some of the world's most active seismic fault lines and is prone to frequent earthquakes.

The most disastrous earthquake in recent years came on Dec. 26,2003 when a quake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale hit the historical city Bam in the southeastern province Kermans, killing nearly 262,000 people.

(Xinhua News Agency March 31, 2006)

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