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Earthquake In Dubai, Iran And India Reported, At Least 40 People Killed

By Staff Writer | April 16, 2013 11:42 AM EDT

Earthquake In Dubai, Iran And India Reported, At Least 40 People Killed
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An earthquake in Dubai, Iran and parts of India has been reported. The earthquake today in Iran was the strongest in half a century, and it was felt as far away as Dubai and India, according to a report by the International Science Times.

The 7.8 earthquake came today just after a 6.1 quake hit Iran’s gulf coast last week, which killed 37 people and injured 850 more. Today’s earthquake in the country has reportedly claimed 40 lives thus far, but Iran’s state-run Press TV gave no additional details on the extent of the damage. An Iranian official told Reuters that hundreds are feared dead in Khash, a city of close to 60,000 people and is close the quake’s epicenter.

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The state-run Pakistan Television said at least six people were killed on its side of the border and at least 47 others were injured. It has also been reported that at least 1,000 homes were damaged in today’s earthquake.

The quake was felt over a vast area from New Delhi to the Gulf cities. It is important to note that Dubai has some of the world’s tallest buildings, including the record the 2,717-foot Burj Khalifa. The earthquake in Dubai has caused some buildings to sway, but no casualties have been reported there or in India, where aftershocks of today’s quake have also been felt. The epicenter of the earthquake was about 26 miles north of Saravan City near the Iran-Pakistan border.

The tectonic summary of the earthquake today from the U.S. Geological Survey could be read below:

“The April 16, 2013 M 7.8 earthquake east of Khash, Iran, occurred as a result of normal faulting at an intermediate depth in the Arabian plate lithosphere, approximately 80 km beneath the Earth's surface. Regional tectonics are dominated by the collisions of the Arabian and India plates with Eurasia; at the longitude of this event, the Arabian plate is converging towards the north-northeast at a rate of approximately 37 mm/yr with respect to the Eurasian plate. Arabian plate lithosphere is subducted beneath the Eurasian plate at the Makran coast of Pakistan and Iran, and becomes progressively deeper to the north.

The subducted Arabian plate is known to be seismically active to depths of about 160 km. The frequency of moderate and large earthquakes within the subducted Arabian plate is not high compared with similar events in some other subducted plates worldwide, but several earthquakes have occurred within this slab in the region of today's event over the past 40 years, including a magnitude 6.7 shock 50 km to the south in 1983. In January of 2011, a M 7.2 earthquake occurred approximately 200 km to the east, in a similar tectonic environment to the April 16 earthquake.”

According to the Science Times, today’s earthquake is comparatively benign compared to some of the quakes that have rocked the region in the past. In 2005, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake near Kashmir, Pakistan has killed more than 80,000 people. A quake in 2003 that occurred in the ancient Iranian City of Bam killed more than 26,000 individuals and measured 6.6 on the Richter scale.

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