A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M5.8 hit the Turkey-Iran border region at 10:08 UTC on January 18, 2023. The agency is reporting a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). EMSC is reporting M5.6 at a depth of 2 km (1.2 miles). The Seismological Center of the University of Tehran is reporting M5.4 at a depth of 12 km (7.4 miles).
The epicenter was located 15.5 km (9.6 miles) S of Khowy (population 175 370), 28 km (17.4 miles) NNE of Salmās (population 81 606), 54 km (33.5 miles) S of Qarah Ẕīā’ od Dīn (population 31 937), 73.2 km (45.5 mi) W of Marand (population 123 191) and 96.3 km (59.8 miles) N of Orūmīyeh (population 577 307), West Azerbaijan, Iran.
30 000 people are estimated to have felt very strong shaking, 293 000 strong, 215 000 moderate and 2 981 000 light.
The USGS issued a Yellow alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. Some casualties and damage are possible and the impact should be relatively localized. Past yellow alerts have required a local or regional-level response.
Estimated economic losses are less than 1% of the GDP of Iran.
Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are a mix of vulnerable and earthquake-resistant construction. The predominant vulnerable building types are adobe block and dressed stone/block masonry construction.
Recent earthquakes in this area have caused secondary hazards such as landslides that might have contributed to losses.
At least 70 people were injured trying to escape to safety and more than 300 houses in 15 villages were damaged, officials from the area said.
Estimated population exposure to earthquake shaking
Selected cities exposed
Featured image credit: TW/SAM, Google
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