Magnitude 6.2 quake hits southeastern Iran: seismological center

An Iranian man rests as he lies atop salvaged mattresses and items outside damaged buildings in the town of Sarpol-e Zahab in the western Kermanshah province near the border with Iraq, on Nov. 14, 2017, following a 7.3-magnitude earthquake that left hundreds killed and thousands homeless two days before. (AFP)
Updated 13 December 2017
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Magnitude 6.2 quake hits southeastern Iran: seismological center

TEHRAN: A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck Iran’s southeastern province of Kerman on Tuesday, the Iranian seismological center reported, though minimal damage was reported.
Eighteen people were wounded in the quake, which struck in the villages of Hejdak and Ravar in Kerman province, the national emergency service told state broadcaster IRIB.
Officials said old houses were damaged in six villages, and classes at schools and universities were canceled.
The quake struck at 12:13 p.m. (0843 GMT) with the epicenter around 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of the provincial capital of Kerman and about 800 kilometers from Tehran.
It was measured as magnitude 5.9 by the US Geological Survey and several smaller aftershocks were reported.
Later Tuesday, the USGS reported another quake in the region, a 6.0-magnitude temblor about 65 kilometers from Kernan.
“Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are extremely vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though some resistant structures exist,” the service said.

Iran sits atop several fault lines, and Tuesday’s quake comes less than a day after a 6.0-magnitude tremor struck the western province of Kermanshah along the border with Iraq.
On November 12, Kermanshah was hit by a major 7.3-magnitude quake that killed 620 people according to the latest toll provided Monday by Tasnim news agency.
Iran’s worst quake in recent years was a 6.6-magnitude tremor that struck near Bam in 2003, decimating the ancient city and killing at least 31,000 people.
In 1990, a 7.4-magnitude quake in northern Iran killed 40,000 people, injured 300,000 and left half a million homeless, reducing dozens of towns and nearly 2,000 villages to rubble.
Iran has experienced at least two other major disasters in recent years — one in 2005 that killed more than 600 people and another in 2012 that left some 300 dead.
 


Libyan airstrikes target group attacking oil ports

Smoke and flames rise from an oil storage tank that was set on fire amid fighting between rival factions at Ras Lanuf terminal, Libya. Reuters
Updated 4 min 9 sec ago
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Libyan airstrikes target group attacking oil ports

  • The country is now split between rival governments in the east and west, each backed by an array of militias
  • The UN Support Mission in Libya condemned the assault on the ports of Ras Lanuf and Al-Sidr

CAIRO: Libyan forces carried out airstrikes against a militia attacking key oil ports in the east, a spokesman said as Libya’s national oil firm warned on Monday of further damage to oil infrastructure as well as environmental contamination in the north African country.
A militia, led by Ibrahim Jadhran who opposes Libya’s self-styled national army commanded by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, attacked the oil ports of Ras Lanuf and Al-Sidr on Thursday forcing the National Oil Corporation to suspend exports and evacuate its employees.
The airstrikes late Sunday targeted fighters loyal to Jadhran, who are trying to seize the oil terminals, said Ahmed Al-Mesmari, a spokesman for the LNA.
He said warplanes carried out airstrikes against “terrorist positions and gatherings in the operational military zone stretching from Ras Lanuf to the edge of the city of Sirte.”
Al-Mesmari called on residents in the oil crescent area to stay away from “areas where the enemy gathers, munition storages and sites with military vehicles.”
Jadhran said in a video circulated on social media on Thursday that he had formed an alliance to retake oil terminals. “Our aim is to overturn the injustice for our people over the past two years,” he said.
The attack by Jadhran’s militia caused “significant” damage to at least two storage tanks, the NOC said Monday in a statement. It warned of further damage to oil infrastructure as well as environmental contamination.
The firm called for an unconditional and immediate withdrawal of Jadhran’s forces, adding that the closure meant the loss of 240,000 barrels per day in oil production. It advised two tankers scheduled to arrive at the ports to remain at sea until the situation was under control.
The UN Support Mission in Libya condemned the assault on the ports of Ras Lanuf and Al-Sidr. “This dangerous escalation in Oil Crescent area puts Libya’s economy in jeopardy and risks igniting a widespread confrontation,” UNSMIL tweeted on Thursday.
Jadhran is a rebel commander who took part in the 2011 uprising that toppled and later killed dictator Moammar Qaddafi. In 2013, he proclaimed himself the guardian of Libya’s oil crescent including the ports of Al-Sidr, Ras Lanuf and Brega, which represent about 60 percent of Libya’s oil resources. His actions cost the oil-rich country billions of dollars.
He lost control of the oil crescent to Haftar’s forces in 2016.
Libya descended into chaos following the 2011 uprising. The country is now split between rival governments in the east and west, each backed by an array of militias. Haftar is allied with the east-based administration that is at odds with the UN-backed government based in the capital, Tripoli.