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

Pentagon Confirms Iran Fired At Unarmed U.S. Drone Over Gulf

Pentagon Confirms Iran Fired At Unarmed U.S. Drone Over GulfIran fired on an unarmed U.S. drone last week as it was hovering in international airspace, the Pentagon announced Thursday.

‘Fired twice’

Spokesman George Little said the incident, which marks the first time the Iranians have fired on a U.S. drone, occurred Nov. 1 at 4:50 a.m. ET. He said the unarmed, unmanned drone was conducting “routine surveillance” over the Persian Gulf when it was “intercepted” by Iran. He said the MQ1 Predator drone, which was not hit, was not in Iranian airspace.

According to Little, two Iranian jets fired twice, missing on both attempts — the drone headed away from the Iranian coast, landing safely soon after at an undisclosed location. The Iranian jets pursued the drone for a short period before giving up.


‘Act of war’

Little said the U.S. government has protested to the Iranians. He would not say whether there were actually plans for a military response. Asked if this should be considered an act of war, Little said he didn’t want to get into “legal characterizations” of the event.  Little stressed that the drone was flying 16 nautical miles off the coast of Kuwait in international waters, and never entered the 12-mile limit that would constitute Iranian territory.

The Pentagon announced the incident as the administration imposed a new round of financial sanctions against Iranian officials and entities. They marked the first sanctions since President Obama’s re-election Tuesday. According to the Treasury Department, the move was “related to the Iranian government’s human rights abuses, its support of terrorism and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.”

What do you think will be the U.S. government’s specific move regarding this recent drone incident? Share your thoughts and opinions with us!

Source: Fox News

Image: Euro News