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

Iran News Agency Duped By Satirical Onion Story

Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency published a story Friday claiming that a Gallup poll found that rural white Americans prefer Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over President Barack Obama. Such a poll would indeed be big news in Iran (and the United States) — if it were true. But the source was The Onion, the publication that presents the outlandish as real news.

Its serious tone fools many who are new to the lampoons. Onion yarns have tricked news outlets in the U.S. and overseas. What sets Fars apart from others, however, is that the agency published the Onion story as if it were its own. Fars News Agency used the story verbatim, giving the same headline: “Gallup Poll: Rural Whites Prefer Ahmadinejad To Obama”. Fars also took all the credit at the get-go:


“TEHRAN (FNA) — According to the results of a Gallup poll released Monday, the overwhelming majority of rural white Americans said they would rather vote for Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than US President Barack Obama.” (The Onion story used a Charleston, West Virginia, dateline.) If that weren’t enough, Fars continued, “According to the same Gallup poll, 60 percent of rural whites said they at least respected that Ahmadinejad doesn’t try to hide the fact that he’s Muslim.”

A Fars news editor said Friday that the outlet took the item off its English-language website once editors realized that The Onion wasn’t a legitimate news organization.

Without breaking from its farce, Onion Editor Will Tracy wrote in an e-mail that Fars is a subsidiary and that “The Onion freely shares content with Fars and commends the journalists at Iran’s Finest News Source on their superb reportage,” Tracy wrote in his statement. There’s no word on whether either president is laughing.

Are you laughing about this mistakenly published news? Do you like The Onion’s news features? Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions with us!

Source: CNN

Image: Politix