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Moderate earthquake rattles southern Iran, few injuries

From Mitra Mobasherat, CNN
  • NEW: Injuries total at least 16
  • Residents in Shiraz say they felt homes shake
  • The epicenter of the quake was about 6 miles (10 km) underground
  • The quake was centered about 35 miles (55 km) north of Kazerun, Iran
  • Iran
  • Earthquakes

(CNN) -- A moderate earthquake shook southern Iran Wednesday morning, injuring at least 16 people and causing damage in a number of villages, state media reported.

"A number of old houses in rural areas have been damaged and seven villages have been severely damaged," the semi-official Mehr News Agency reported. "At least five aftershocks have occurred after the main quake."

Residents in Shiraz, the provincial capital, said it shook the floor of homes in the area and lasted about three seconds.

The epicenter of the magnitude 5.4 quake was about 615 kilometers (380 miles) south of the capital, Tehran, or 95 kilometers (59 miles) northwest of Shiraz, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Iran lies on a series of seismic fault lines and experiences earthquakes almost daily, and at times, they have had devastating consequences, such as the quake in the city of Bam that killed 30,000 people in 2003.