Pregnant woman dead, 100 injured in Iran quake panic


Reports say that at least 97 people were injured, mostly during panicked escape from homes and buildings.

The quake was also felt in the cities of Karaj, Qom, Qazvin and Arak according to state TV.

The quake measuring 5.2 magnitude struck shortly before 11:30 pm (local time) on Wednesday, according to the seismological centre of the University of Tehran.

The epicentre was at Meshkin Dasht in Alborz Province, 50 km west of Tehran, Tasnim news agency quoted Morteza Salimi, the head of Relief and Rescue Organization of Iran's Red Crescent, as saying.

According to Iran's natural disaster monitoring agency, the country has been rattled by more than 45 4-magnitude aftershocks since November's deadly quake.

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Average airborne concentration of the finest and most hazardous particles (PM2.5) rose to 170 microgrammes per cubic metre, with peaks of 194 microgrammes in some neighbourhoods, Tehran municipality said.

Last month, a 7.3-magnitude quake hit villages and towns in Iran's western Kermanshah province along the mountainous border with Iraq, killing 620 people and injuring thousands of others.

The quake was felt in several cities in Iran's north, including Tehran.

Iranian weekend starts on Thursday, and given the fear of earthquakes more people leave the city for northern resort towns.

In 2003, a 6.6 magnitude quake flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people.