Shallow M5.6 earthquake hits Iran, injuring 43 people and cutting off electricity and water to Sisakht

Shallow M5.6 earthquake hits Iran, injuring 43 people and cutting off electricity and water to Sisakht

A shallow earthquake registered by the Iranian Seismological Center (ISMC) as M5.6 hit Sisakht, Iran at 18:35 UTC (22:05 LT) on February 17, 2021, injuring at least 43 people. The quake hit at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). USGS and EMSC are reporting it as M5.4. 

The epicenter was located just west of the town of Sisakht (population 7 855), 28 km (17 miles) NW of Yasuj (population 96 786), 66 km (41 miles) SSW of Semirom (population 27 220), and 78 km (48 miles) NE of Dogonbadan (population 94 638), Iran.

21 000 people are estimated to have felt strong shaking, 44 000 moderate, and 799 000 light.

The Iranian media reported at least 43 people were injured, but some reports mention as many as 130 injured. The nearby farming town of Sisakth was left without water, gas, and electricity.

"People in Sisakht and town of Yasuj left their homes in panic. Water, gas, and electricity have been cut off in Sisakht," a local official said. "Rescue teams have been dispatched to the area."

Many buildings and homes in the city are reported to have been damaged. 

The water and electricity have been restored on Thursday, but people in the city are still in need of basic needs and are afraid of opening their stores, MEHR reports.

Image credit: TW/SAM, Google

Image credit: TW/SAM, Google

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are highly vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though some resistant structures exist. The predominant vulnerable building types are adobe block and unreinforced brick with mud and timber post-construction.

Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides that might have contributed to losses.

Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking

Selected cities exposed

Regional seismicity

Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google

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