Jan 09, 2020 10:18 AM EST
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the first earthquake, measuring 4.9 magnitude, struck just before 9.00 a.m. local time in Bushehr province just 30 miles from the Bushehr nuclear plant. The 2nd quake, a 4.5-magnitude aftershock, struck a half-hour later.
The 2 quakes shook both Bushehr and Borazjan. There were no casualties reported and rescue teams were at the scene in the southern part of the country.
The managing director of Bushehr crisis management told the news agency IRNA that rescue teams were present at the “quake disaster” site close to the Gulf coast.
This transpired after a chaotic day that saw the country launch missiles at two U.S. military bases in Iraq. A passenger plane crashed after and killed dozens in an unrelated incident.
The first earthquake hit at a depth of about 6 miles, said the United States Geological Survey.
The earthquake epicenters were within 20 kilometers of the city of Borazjan.
This was after another earthquake, measuring 5.1 magnitude, struck the same region less than two weeks ago.
The nuclear powerplant was designed to withstand earthquakes up to magnitude 9. Iran is on major seismic faults and its hard, mountainous landscape can prevent damage from mild to moderate earthquakes.
Iran had earlier threatened retaliation for the US killing of Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani, a military official the Trump administration accused of planning “imminent” terrorist attacks against US diplomats and soldiers in the region.
Because of Qasem Soleimani’s killing last week, Iran said it was ending its commitment to the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
The airstrike was initiated by President Donald Trump.
This drone strike was in response to the killing of a US civilian contract worker in a rocket attack on Dec. 27 that also injured many service workers
Since August 2010, Bushehr is not only Iran’s first nuclear plant but the first civilian reactor in the Middle East. The plant was opened in 2011 with assistance from Russia.
Iran had a 5.9-magnitude earthquake killing 452 in November 2017 and a 6.6 magnitude earthquake that killing 26,000 people in 2003.
The nuclear plant did not have any damage. People around the site have reported light shaking.
More than 170 people aboard a Ukrainian passenger jet died also on Wednesday when the plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Imam Khomeini International Airport, south of Tehran.
Iranian officials said the plane likely crashed due to mechanical difficulties, but it was also reported that the Ukrainian embassy in Iran later took down a statement concurring with that assessment and ruling out terrorism.
Iran sits on a major fault line between the Arabian and Eurasian plates and is no stranger to earthquakes in the past.
At least five people died and 330 others injured when a 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck northwestern Iran in November.
The nuclear powerplant, which produces 1,000 megawatts of power, was completed by Russia after years of delay and officially handed over in September 2013.
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