This morning, an earthquake struck Bushehr, in southern Iran, about 60 miles from the country’s only operating nuclear power plant. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the earth quake magnitude measured in at 5.5 and occurred at 6:34am GMT.
Iranian officials are describing the quake’s magnitude at 5.9, according to reports airing on Iranian television. This discrepancy between the USGS and Iranian officials is understandable considering that magnitudes vary following temblors, or earthquakes.
The earthquake depth is quite shallow – 6.2 miles below the earth’s surface – and could have caused great damage. However, according to forthcoming reports from the Islamic Republic, the nuclear power plant in Bushehr has not been damaged by this quake.
Iran lies above major fault lines, and earthquakes occur regularly in this area. The nuclear power station has sustained previous earthquakes because it is designed to withstand temblors.
In fact, this is not the first earthquakes to strike both Iran and Iraq this week. Quakes were observed on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, leading up to today’s 5.5 magnitude quake.
The location of the quake’s epicenter occurred in a lightly populated town called Kaki, near the southern west coast of Iran. However, the quake was felt in surrounding Persian Gulf areas, too.
Across the gulf, the Saudi Arabian island, Bahrain, felt the quake, and residents living in high-rise buildings evacuated their homes. Qatar residents reported feeling the quake, as did individuals in Kuwait City, further north along the Persian Coast.