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.

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Source: BBC News

Image: National Post

Prince William Works Hard, Prince Harry Parties Harder!

While Prince William – who, in the service, goes by Flight Lieutenant William Wales – begins his first of six weeks’ deployment to the Falkland Islands as a search-and-rescue pilot, younger brother Prince Harry was happily hitting London hot spots with pal David Beckham this weekend.

William’s service there comes amid tensions between the U.K. and Argentina as the 30th anniversary of the Falklands conflict grows near. To quell any concerns, U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague tells Sky News that the ship’s presence there was “entirely routine” and in no way provocative.

The same could barely be said of Harry. He emerged from Friday night’s round of socializing with a pronounced wound on his nose – though aides at St. James’s Palace tell the Daily Mail it was “just a scratch.” No further explanation was offered.

Marie Claire magazine said Harry and Beckham were joined at the Arts Club in Mayfair by “newly single opera singer” Katherine Jenkins, a good friend of David and Victoria Beckham’s.

Harry, David and Katherine reportedly celebrated together until 3 a.m. before leaving separately. Beckham, whose underwear line for H&M was boldlyrevealed on a Super Bowl commercial featuring him in only the scantiest of briefs, was in London to promote the label.

Meanwhile, as the royal men were working and playing, William’s wife Kate was spotted looking chic as she ran errands in a chilly London on Monday.

Source: People Magazine

Image: The Australian