An earthquake northwest Iran killed at least four and injured 70 people on Friday, November 8, according to state media. The earthquake measuring 5.9 struck early morning about 120 kilometres southeast of Tabriz city on East Azerbaijan Province, the Iranian Seismological Center was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

The US Geological Survey said the earthquake measured 5.8 and struck at 2:17 am on Friday and said: "significant casualties are likely and the disaster is potentially widespread". Reports suggest the "moderate" quake was 8-10 kilometres deep and was followed by four aftershocks. Iran's official IRNA news agency called the tremors relatively 'strong' and caused many to rush from their house in panic in the middle of the night.

earthquake in California
Representational Image.Reuters

Iran's geographical location puts the country on two tectonic planes and experiences frequent tremors. In recent incidents, around 300 people were killed in an earthquake in 2012 and about 600 died in another quake in 2005. A significant number of casualties were caused after an earthquake in Bam in 2003 which killed at least 31,000 people in Iran.