Amid tensions in the Middle East escalated following Iranian missile strikes on Iraqi bases housing US troops, an earthquake of 4.9-magnitude Richter scale struck Iran near the Bushehr nuclear plant Wednesday, January 8 reports said.

earthquake in California

A natural event? 

According to the  United States Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake struck southeast of Borazjan, Iran at a depth of 10 km. Borazjan is 70 km drive from Bushehr.  International reports suggested that the depth and epicentre indicate it was a natural event and unrelated to other events. According to reports, a similar earthquake struck in late December. 

Qasem Soleimani funeral
People attend the funeral procession of Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani.Reuters

Iran launched a missile attack on US-led forces in Iraq in the early hours of Wednesday, January 8  in retaliation for the US drone strike on an Iranian commander whose killing has raised fears of a wider war in the Middle East.

Tehran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles from Iranian territory against at least two Iraqi military bases hosting US-led coalition personnel at about 1.30 am local time, the US military said on Tuesday. Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps confirmed they fired the missiles to retaliate for last week's killing of Qassem Soleimani, according to a statement on state TV. The statement advised the United States to withdraw its troops from the region to prevent more deaths, state TV said.