TEHRAN – A magnitude-5.2 earthquake shook the Iranian capital of Tehran on Wednesday night, with no reports of casualties or significant material damage.
The Iranian Seismological Center at the University of Tehran reported that the earthquake occurred at 11:29 pm local time (1959 GMT), and its epicenter was located in the Meshken area, between the provinces of Tehran and Alborz.
For its part, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) recorded the magnitude of the earthquake at 4.9 and located its epicenter in the city of Malard, located about 40 kilometers from the capital.
Numerous inhabitants of Tehran left their homes and are currently on the streets, in fear of aftershocks or a major earthquake.
Bahar, a 35-year-old architect, was one of the residents in one of the northern neighborhoods in Tehran who decided to wait in the street for the situation to become normal.
“I was terrified. I had never felt such a strong tremor,” Bahar explained, saying that the windows at his house were shaking and some furniture moved.
The earthquake was also felt in other nearby cities such as Qom, Qazvin and Karaj.
The head of the Tehran Crisis Management and Prevention Organization, Esamail Nayar, told the official media that all the institutions are prepared to provide assistance and that police are on alert.
In addition, hospitals and firefighters announced they are on high alert in case of any emergency, while the authorities called for calm.
Iran is the site of frequent seismic activity and in recent weeks saw numerous earthquakes, several of which were over six on the Richter scale.
On Nov. 12, a powerful magnitude-7.3 earthquake caused 620 deaths and more than 12,000 wounded in Kermanshah province, in northwest Iran and bordering Iraq.
The most serious quakes that have occurred in Iran came in June 1990 and in December 2003, when 37,000 and 31,000 people lost their lives, respectively.