Deadly Iran Earthquake Shakes Middle East Region

Deadly Iran Earthquake Shakes Middle East RegionIran has been struck by its most powerful earthquake for more than 50 years, with tremors felt across Pakistan, India and the Middle East. The epicentre of the 7.8-magnitude quake was near the south-eastern city of Khash, close to Pakistan. The quake struck deep and in a remote region, apparently limiting casualties. However, more than 30 people were killed in Pakistan.

‘Strong aftershocks’

The Pakistani military has been mobilised to help with rescue efforts, officials said. Two military helicopters carrying medical teams have been sent to the area and troops will support the relief efforts, they said. The border area has since been shaken by several strong aftershocks.

The earthquake struck in the province of Sistan Baluchistan at about 15:14 local time (10:44 GMT), close to the cities of Khash, which has a population of nearly 180,000, and Saravan, where 250,000 people live. The power of the tremor led to offices being evacuated in Karachi, Pakistan, in the Indian capital of Delhi, and in several Gulf cities.


‘180 times stronger’

Iran’s Fars news agency said the depth of the quake had reduced its impact to the size of a magnitude-4.0 tremor on the surface. Iranian scientists said it was the country’s strongest earthquake for more than 50 years. All communications to the region have been cut, and the Red Crescent said it was sending 20 search-and-rescue teams with three helicopters to the area.

Mohammad Wazir, a correspondent for BBC Persian in Pakistan, says the quake was felt in the cities of Karachi and Quetta. Tuesday’s earthquake was about 180 times stronger in energy release than a 6.3-magnitude quake that struck on 10 April near the nuclear plant at Bushehr in south-western Iran. That quake killed at least 37 people and wounded 850.

Scientists say earthquakes in south-eastern Iran are triggered by the clash between the Arabia and Eurasia tectonic plates, the former of which is pushing north at a rate of several centimetres each year.

Have you ever been in the middle of a strong earthquake? Share your most terrifying quake experience with us!

Source: BBC News

Image: National Post

India Gang Rape Suspect Commits Suicide

India Gang Rape Suspect Commits SuicideA suspect in the abduction, rape and murder of a student in the Indian capital, Delhi, has been found dead in prison, his lawyer has confirmed. Police say Ram Singh hanged himself in Tihar jail, Delhi, although defence lawyers have questioned this. Ram Singh was one of five men being held in the case. They all deny the charges.

‘Hanged himself’

Tihar jail spokesman Sunil Gupta told the BBC that an inquiry had been ordered into the incident. He said Ram Singh’s body would be taken for a post mortem examination later on Monday. Mr Singh’s death comes as a huge embarrassment for the authorities who are already under enormous pressure over the case, the BBC’s Sanjoy Majumder reports from Delhi.

The website of Indian news channel NDTV, quoting jail officials, said Ram Singh had hanged himself at around 05:00 local time on Monday (23:30 GMT Sunday). Another defence lawyer in the case told the BBC that he had met Ram Singh on Friday during a court hearing and found him in a “happy state of mind”.


‘Death sentence’

Ram Singh and the four other adult defendants – his brother Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur – have been on trial in a fast-track court. They face 13 charges, including murder, gang-rape, kidnapping and destruction of evidence. If found guilty they face the death sentence. The maximum sentence the juvenile would face if convicted would be three years in a reform facility.

The 23-year-old rape victim, who was not named for legal reasons, was with a male friend when she was attacked on a bus and thrown from the vehicle. She died in a Singapore hospital on 29 December from massive internal injuries. Ram Singh was accused of being the driver of the bus.

Do you think justice for the gang rape victim will be served properly? Do you think the remaining suspects will get the death sentence?

Source: BBC News

Image: WYCB