Iran Earthquake Strikes Near Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant

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A 5.6 magnitude earthquake hit southern Iran near a nuclear power plant, the U.S. Geological Survey confirmed Thursday. The earthquake struck at 5:21 p.m. local time Thursday evening, centered about 39 miles northeast of the Persian Gulf city of Bandar Bushehr, CNN reports.

There are conflicting reports concerning the number of causalities. RT reports that seven people were killed and at least 30 injured, according to Hassan Qadami, the head of Iran's Crisis Management organization. Yet another report obtained by the Associated Press said the official IRNA news agency gave no reports about the amount of damage or number casualties the earthquake caused.

"There were some houses and electricity poles damaged," governor Alireza Khorani told the Fars news agency.

Social media reports from Saudi Arabia say some the quake, which struck at a depth of 10.2 miles, was felt in the kingdom's eastern province, across the Gulf from Iran, Reuters reported.

The nuclear power plant in Bushehr province went online in 2011 and has experienced earthquakes before. In April, a 6.1-magnitude earthquake that killed at least 37 people and injured hundreds struck a town near Bushehr. The nuclear plant wasn't damaged then, the Associated Press reported.

Iran sits on a series of faults that cause earthquakes to be common in the region. On average, the country experiences minor quakes once a day.

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