An earthquake occurred near the Iran-Pakistan border Tuesday, leaving an estimated 40 people dead so far. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake measured 7.8 on the Richter scale. However due to the spread of population in the region, the number of casualties will hopefully not increase.
According to Iran’s Seismological Center, the quake’s epicenter can be found roughly 50 miles north of the city of Saravan. The quake was felt at 3:15 p.m. local time, and injuries have been reported from the neighboring country of Pakistan. Tremors were also felt in southern Pakistan’s city of Karachi and even in the Abu Dhabi area.
This is not the first instance that the Middle East has been victim to an earthquake. In August 2012, two quakes struck northern Iran killing upwards of 250 people. Scientists have warned about the vulnerability of the Middle East region in terms of earthquake activity. In a 2007 study, scientists discovered a prominent fault line bordering the Mediterranean coast. Over 62 miles in length, the scientists determined that the fault may be the cause of past quakes as well as future ones, including Iran’s most recent one. Historically, quakes have been common in Lebanon, but many quakes often occur underwater in the Mediterranean Sea.
Due to the magnitude of the quake, aftershocks as well as tsunami warnings will not be uncommon for the area and region. Tuesday's quake comes exactly one week after an earthquake in the southern Iranian city of Kaki. That quake killed at least 37 people and injured nearly 850. USGS measured the quake at magnitude 6.3. The quake also miraculously spared a nearby nuclear power plant, which surprisingly remains in tact. While the damage of this latest quake has yet to be finalized, a 7.8 magnitude should not be taken lightly.
To see live earthquake activity around the world, USGS provides an interactive map documenting tremors and quakes. As Iran and Pakistan gear up for recovery mode in their region, the thought of increased activity in the future can not be ignored.