5 dead, 49 injured in two earthquakes in southern Iran

5 dead, 49 injured in two earthquakes in southern Iran

At least five people are dead and 49 more injured after a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in southern Iran, with the area hit soon after by two successive quakes of up to magnitude 6.3.

Some 24 tremors - two with magnitudes of 6.3 and 6.1 - followed the initial earthquake that flattened the village of Sayeh Khosh near Iran's Gulf Coast in Hormozgan province.

All of the victims were killed in the first earthquake and no-one was injured in the next two severe quakes, as people were already outside their homes, said a regional governor.

Residents went into the streets as aftershocks continued to jolt the area, damaging buildings and infrastructure.

Half of the 49 people injured have been discharged from the hospital, according to an emergency services official, and officials say that search and rescue operations have ended.

Gulf shipping and flights haven't been affected by the quakes, which could be felt in several neighbouring countries.

One hundred and fifty earthquakes and tremors have struck western Hormozgan over the past month and the area has seen several moderate earthquakes in recent weeks.

In November, one man died after two magnitude 6.4 and 6.3 earthquakes.

Iran has several devastating earthquakes in recent years because of major seismic faults and experiences one earthquake a day on average.

In 2003 a magnitude 6.6 earthquake in Kerman province killed 31,000 people and flattened the ancient city of Bam.