A shallow earthquake registered by the Iranian Seismological Center (IRSC) as M5.1 at a depth of 7 km (4.3 miles) hit the city of Damavand in Tehran, Iran, at 20:18 UTC on May 7, 2020 (00:48 LT on May 8). Both USGS and EMSC reported it as shallow M4.6. At least two people died while around 33 were injured in the ensuing chaos, but no major damage was reported.
According to the IRSC and EMSC, the epicenter was located 7 km (4.3 miles) north of the city of Damavand, while USGS stated 2 km (1.2 miles) west-northwest of the area. There are about 7 153 309 people living within 56.3 km (35 miles) of Tehran Province.
It is worth mentioning that the city is situated near Mount Damavand– a dormant volcano sitting around 70 km (43 miles) northeast of Tehran. Its last known eruption was way back 5 350 BC.
Mount Damavand is the highest peak in Iran and the second-highest volcano in Asia at 5 761 m (18 900 feet).
Image credit: TW/SAM, Google
No significant damage was reported. However, the tremor caused panic among residents, which resulted in two deaths and around 33 people injured, local media reported.
The fatalities were a 60-year-old man due to a head injury, and a 21-year-old woman due to a cardiac arrest.
Image credit: TW/SAM, Google
Many people described the experience as terrible. "I was sleeping [then] suddenly I woke up and felt the earthquake. It was so dangerous because of the old buildings [in the area]," one witness said in a testimonial posted on EMSC.
Another local said he ran to the door as he felt the jolt two times, "the first one was weaker, [while] the second was one stronger and took longer."
"I felt it. [It] scared us, so we had to run away to [the] street," another witness stated.
Image credit: USGS
lmage credit: EMSC
Images on social media showed people in the streets of Tehran as they tried to escape from the tremor.
Several people in Damavand, Gilavand, Boom-e Hen, Roode Hen, Pardis, the metropolis of Tehran, and some other nearby cities spent the night outdoors in fear of stronger aftershocks.
Officials advised them to observe social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As of May 8, coronavirus has infected 104 691 and killed 6 541 in the country.
Iran sits on top of major tectonic plates and is one of the most seismically active nations in the world.
Scenes of people rushing to gas stations in fear of shortages following the 5.1 magnitude earthquake shaking the Iranian capital of Tehran and mainly areas east of the city. pic.twitter.com/1vh85EaCa9
— Heshmat Alavi (@HeshmatAlavi) May 8, 2020
— Living in Tehran (@LivinginTehran) May 7, 2020
— Sushmit Patil Сушмит Патил सुश्मित पाटिल (@PatilSushmit) May 8, 2020
Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google
If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.
Producing content you read on this website takes a lot of time, effort, and hard work. If you value what we do here, select the level of your support and register your account.
Your support makes this project fully self-sustainable and keeps us independent and focused on the content we love to create and share.
All our supporters can browse the website without ads, allowing much faster speeds and a clean interface. Your comments will be instantly approved and you’ll have a direct line of communication with us from within your account dashboard. You can suggest new features and apps and you’ll be able to use them before they go live.
You can choose the level of your support.
Stay kind, vigilant and ready!