Tehran: The Iran state TV on Sunday raised the toll from a 6.2-magnitude earthquake that hit the northwest of the country to at least 180 people dead and more than 1,350 others injured.
The news report said that at least six villages were totally leveled in the quake on Saturday, and 60 others sustained damage ranging from 50 to 80 per cent.
The news channel said the quake hit the towns of Ahar, Haris and Varzaqan in East Azerbaijan province at 4:53 pm local time.
Iran state TV said that at least 6 villages were totally leveled in the quake, and 60 others sustained damage ranging from 50 to 80 pc.
The TV quoted Khalil Saei, local Crisis Committee chief, as saying that 30 people were killed in Ahar, 40 in Varzaqan and 17 others in Haris.
The TV said at least 9 aftershocks jolted the same area and were felt in a wide region near the Caspian Sea, causing panic among the population.
Saei, local Crisis Committee chief, urged people in the quake region to stay outdoors and spend the night at parks and open spaces in anticipation of more aftershocks.
Iran is located on seismic fault lines and is prone to earthquakes. It experiences at least one earthquake every day on average, although the vast majority are so small they go unnoticed.