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6.1-magnitude earthquake in southern Iran kills at least 5 people

6.1-magnitude earthquake in southern Iran kills at least 5 people
Two men stand among the rubble of their home Saturday after a powerful earthquake in Sayeh Khosh village, Hormozgan province, southern Iran. Photo by Abdol Hossein Rezvani/EPA-EFE

July 2 (UPI) -- A 6.1-magnitude earthquake in southern Iran Saturday killed at least five people, injured dozens others and displaced people from their homes.

More than a dozen aftershocks of up to 6.3-magnitude followed the first quake that hit the Sayeh Khosh and Bandar Khamir villages in the Hormozgan province in the early morning, according to the Seismological Center of Geophysics Institute of the University of Tehran, state news agency, IRNA reported.

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All of the casualties and injuries are believed to be from the first 6.1-magnitude quake.

"All of the victims died in the first earthquake and no one was harmed in the next two severe quakes as people were already outside their homes," Bandar Lengeh Gov. Foad Moradzadeh told the country's semi-official FARS news agency.

The quakes displaced thousands of people, with several people residing in tents that local authorities set up in the the streets, Al Jazeera reported.

Video footage on social media and state television showed homes destroyed in several villages, according to Al Jazeera, and the quakes also briefly knocked out power.

First Vice President Mohammad Mohkber directed the governor-general of Hormozgan province to deploy first responders to address the disaster, according to an IRNA report.

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The Red Crescent Society of Iran tweeted that 75 rescue operations using 12 operational vehicles were working in the earthquake-affected areas.

CNN on-the-ground staff reported that shaking could be felt in the United Arab Emirates.

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar and Afghanistan were also impacted, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The USGS added that seismic activity in the area is "relatively common," as the region sits on a major fault line and is prone to earthquakes.

Last November, at least one person was killed after a string of earthquakes hit southern Iran.

In 2017, more than 450 people were killed and thousands were injured near the Iran-Iraq border when a 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit.

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