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Iran's nuke plant unaffected by quake

April 10, 2013 at 8:41 AM

TEHRAN, April 10 (UPI) -- The powerful earthquake in Iran's Bushehr province did not damage the country's first nuclear plant, the Russian contractor in charge of its construction said.

A spokesman for Russia's Atomstroyexport, which completed the construction of the Bushehr power plant in 2010, said tremors were felt at the reactor from Tuesday's quake but the facility wasn't damaged and was operating normally, Iran's Fars News Agency reported.

A 6.1-magnitude earthquake rocked the town of Kaki in southern Iran, Tuesday, killing at least 39 people and injuring more than 750 others.

"Tremors were felt at the plant, but the earthquake did not affect the standard situation at the energy block," the company spokesman said. "All personnel continue to work in the normal regime; the levels of radiation are within the norms."

China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported at least 32 people died and 850 people were injured.

Fereidoon Hassanvand, governor of Bushehr province, said about 700 buildings were seriously damaged.

In two villages, the damaged area exceeded 80 percent, Mahmoud Mozaffar, head of Iran's Red Crescent Society, said.

Twenty rescue teams and several helicopters were sent to the region from neighboring cities and provinces, Mozaffar said.

Ayatollah Gholam-Ali Safaei- Boushehri, the representative of Iran's supreme leader in Bushehr province, announced the province would have three days of mourning, state-run IRNA said.

The quake was felt in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, where some high-rise buildings were evacuated.

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