A moderate earthquake struck southern Iran on Sunday afternoon, with no immediate reports from local authorities or media. According to the United States Institute of Geological Studies (USGS), the magnitude of this earthquake reached 5.5 on the magnitude scale of the moment, a benchmark measurement for many seismologists.
The epicenter of the earthquake, which took place at 4 p.m. local time (1:30 p.m. Swiss time), was located 13 km deep, in the Gulf, between the mainland and the island of Qeshm, 49 km from the port of Bandar Abbas (south), according to the Geophysical Institute of the University of Tehran.
Prelim M5.5 Earthquake southern Iran Feb-16 12:30 UTC, updates https://t.co/G38CXZjErd
— USGS Big Quakes (@USGSBigQuakes) February 16, 2020
Assess the damage
A spokesman for the Iranian national rescue service told AFP that teams had been dispatched to the region to assess the damage and assist any victims.
Located on the borders of several tectonic plates and crossed by several faults, Iran is an area of strong seismic activity. The last major earthquake dates back to November 2017, when an earthquake of magnitude 7.3 in the province of Kermanshah (west) killed 620 people.