An earthquake struck southern Iran near one of their nuclear plants, killing at least eight people and injuring 59 others, according to the Fars News Agency.
The report cites Hassan Qadami, the head of Iran’s Crisis-Management Headquarters, and lists 12 of the injured in critical condition.
The U.S. Geological Survey reports the 5.6 magnitude tremor was centered about 39 miles northeast of the Persian Gulf city of Bushehr, where the nuclear plant is located, and 7 miles northeast of Borazjan.
The Iran earthquake was determined to be shallow, making it more destructive, with a depth of 10.2 miles. The quake began at 5:21 pm local time.
A reporter for the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency in Borazjan said residential buildings were damaged, and electricity was disrupted to several areas.
CNN reports the city is in the province of Bushehr, where a nuclear plant that went live in 2011 is located.
The website for state television carried a statement from the plant’s operators saying it sustained no damage in the quake.
Mehr News Agency, a semi-official outlet, says people who were afraid of aftershocks were staying out of their homes.
Iran is no stranger to earthquakes. In April, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake killed 39 people and injured 850 in Bushehr province, but the reactor was not affected.
As more information on the latest earthquake to hit Iran became available, people used social media to report on the damage:
State media: Earthquake near Iran nuclear power plant kills 7 people, injures 30, emergency chief says – @AFP
— Breaking News (@BreakingNews) November 28, 2013
Unfortunately an earthquake happened last night in Booshehr Iran (it’s power was about 5.6) pic.twitter.com/Gm2NmeCOGr
— Mohsen (@Mohsen46947107) November 29, 2013
— Helia (@theHelia) November 29, 2013
— Gulf News (@gulf_news) November 29, 2013
— WPN (@WebProNews) November 29, 2013
Photo: Iran: Earthquake kills 7, injures 45 (AP) EHRAN, Iran — An earthquakewith a preliminary magnitude of… http://t.co/cUK9lTnGBp
— OmgGhana.Com™ (@omgGhanaDotCom) November 29, 2013
— SouthWebORG (@SouthwebORG) November 28, 2013
Iran is hit by earthquakes regularly because it is located in a zone of tectonic compression where the Arabian plate meets the Eurasian plate. This leaves 90 percent of the country vulnerable to the seismic fault line.
According to the AP, nine earthquakes that struck Iran in the last decades were more than a 6 magnitude on the Richter scale, including a 2003 tremor that killed at least 26,000 people in the city of Bam.