April 9, 2013 – Iran Earthquake Kills at Least 37 and 850 Injured: At least 37 people have been killed and 850 have been injured in a 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck near Bushehr in southern Iran, according to state TV.
The epicenter of the quake was Kaki, 60 miles south of Bushehr – home to the country’s only nuclear power station.
The Russian company that built the plant said the quake had been felt there but operations had not been affected.
“The earthquake in no way affected the normal situation at the reactor. Personnel continue to work in the normal regime and radiation levels are fully within the norm,” Russian state news agency RIA quoted an official at Atomstroyexport as saying.
Fereydoon Hasanvand, the governor of the port city, confirmed that “no damage at all has been caused” to the reactor.
Two villages – Shanbe and Sana – near the nuclear plant suffered serious damage, according to Red Crescent official Morteza Moradipour.
One Bushehr resident said her home and the homes of her neighbours were shaken by the quake but not damaged.
Nikoo said: “We could clearly feel the earthquake. The windows and chandeliers all shook.”
The tremors were felt as far as Dubai, Qatar and Bahrain and five aftershocks struck within an hour.
It was much smaller than the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Japan two years ago, triggering a tsunami that destroyed back-up generators and disabled the Fukushima nuclear plant’s cooling system. Three of the reactors melted down.
In the past, Gulf Arab countries and Western experts have voiced concerns about the Bushehr plant, which is in a highly seismic area.
Iran has repeatedly rejected concerns it could be unsafe.
It is the only country operating a nuclear power plant that does not belong to the Convention on Nuclear Safety, negotiated after the 1986 nuclear disaster in Chernobyl which contaminated wide areas and forced about 160,000 Ukrainians from their homes. (Credits – Sky News HD).
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