No casualties or damage have been reported so far. (Photo Credit: Representational )
New Delhi :
An earthquake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale struck Iran's Khorasan-e Razavi province near the border with Afghanistan on Wednesday. According to reports, no casualties or damage have been reported so far.
The tremor hit the town of Sangan, in Khaf county, at a shallow depth of 8 km at 7.59 am, Press TV reported. "We have not received any reports of casualties, but a large area has been affected, which our survey teams are investigating," said, Hojjatali Shayanfar, director general of the provincial emergency department.
Shayanfar, however, added that the earthquake has caused damage to livestock storage the epicenter was home to the nomadic population.
The earthquake has been reported hours after Iran launched at least 12 ballistic missiles slammed into an Iraqi airbase in the country's west early Wednesday where the US and coalition forces are based.
The attack on the Ain al-Asad air base came after pro-Tehran factions in Iraq had vowed to join forces to "respond" to an American drone strike that killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi top commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Baghdad last week. This came hours after leader of Iran's Revolutionary Guard threatened on Tuesday to "set ablaze" places supported by the United States. Hossein Salami made the pledge before a crowd of thousands gathered in a central square in Kerman, the hometown of the slain Gen Qassem Soleimani.
Qasem Soleimani, the popular head of the Revolutionary Guards' foreign operations arm, was killed in a US drone strike outside Baghdad airport on Friday, ratcheting up tensions between the arch-foes.
“At approximately 1730 EST on Jan. 7, Iran launched at least a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military & coalition forces in Iraq,” US Department of Defence tweeted.
“It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran & targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. military & coalition personnel at Al-Assad & Irbil. We are working on initial battle damage assessments,” it added.
President Trump has been briefed and is monitoring the situation, officials said. We are working on initial battle damage assessments, Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman said confirming the Iranian missile strikes. Hoffman said in recent days and in response to Iranian threats and actions, the Department of Defence has taken all appropriate measures to safeguard its personnel and partners.