Quake hits near Iran Nuke Power Plant


An earthquake struck Iran on Friday less than 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the country's only nuclear power plant, monitors said. There were no immediate reports of any casualties or damage, report agencies. 

The US Geological Survey said the 5.1 magnitude quake struck 44 kilometres (27 miles) from the southwestern city of Borazjan and at a depth of 38 kilometres. Its reported epicentre is 45 kilometres east of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, on the southwest Gulf coast.

The Iranian Seismological Center said in a preliminary report on its website that the strength of the quake was 4.9 magnitude and that its depth was 10 kilometres.

The quake jolted villages near Kalameh city, the semi-official ISNA news agency said, adding there were no reports of any casualties or damage. "Based on the assessments of teams in the field, fortunately this earthquake has caused no damage," the head of the province's crisis centre, Jahangir Dehghani, said on state television.

"The Ahram-Kalameh road was blocked by a landslide and it is currently being cleared," he added.Buildings in nearby towns and villages had some "cracked walls but nothing has collapsed."

The Bushehr plant, which produces 1,000 megawatts of power, was completed by Russia after years of delay and officially handed over in September 2013. 

In 2016, Russian and Iranian firms began building two additional 1,000-megawatt reactors at Bushehr. Their construction was expected to take 10 years.

Iran's Gulf Arab neighbours have often raised concerns about the reliability of the Bushehr facility and the risk of radioactive leaks in case of a major earthquake.