[By Shideh] This morning, I talked to a few relatives in Tehran who had heard of a recent earthquake near by. Naturally, I jumped to my lap top to check the USGS website looking for a small earthquake in Tehran, the fault rupture characteristics, and other things. The earthquake that I was looking for had instead been a large one towards the south of the country, the province of Hormozgan immediately north of the Persian Gulf.
The epicenter was approximately 45 km west of Bandar Abbas. The earthquake was apparently strong enough to be felt in the UAE (the United Arab Emirates, south of the Persian Gulf and the epicenter of this earthquake) forcing many people in tall buildings to get out immediately. The magnitude of this earthquake is reported to be 6 and two aftershocks of magnitudes 4.4 and 4.7 were recorded. If you are interested to check recent earthquakes that occur around the world, you will like this website: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsww/
Sadly, at least five people are reported to be killed and 26 injured in Iran due to this earthquake. The earthquake was intense and unfortunately, my guess is that this number is going to quickly increase as more information becomes available. Hormozgan is an important province strategically as well as economically and Bandar Abbas is an ancient port located at a critical point, right on the kink connecting the Persian Gulf to the Oman Sea and then to the ocean.
I will update TehranShake as more news becomes available on the estimated damage. If you live in Iran, please let us know if you felt this earthquake and what you experienced.
Bandaries playing footbal in the beach (Bandar Abbas); photo courtesy of itfcfan