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Earthquake-prone region of Iran hit again

6.2 quake hits where 2,400 were killed in May

June 26, 1997
Web posted at: 8:41 a.m. EDT (1241 GMT)

NORTHEASTERN IRAN (CNN) -- A magnitude 6.2 earthquake in northeastern Iran on Thursday destroyed 15 villages in the same region where at least 2,400 people were killed by a quake in May.

The new quake near the towns of Qaen and Birjand caused no casualties because residents of the area were still living in tents following a stronger quake last month, the state radio said.

The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) said a Red Crescent official said relief teams had been sent to the area.

The quake was centered about 200 miles southeast of Khorasan's provincial capital, Mashhad, the agency said.

The region has been hit by 475 aftershocks since a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that struck May 10 leveled about 168 villages, killed more than 2,400 people and left 60,000 homeless.

U.N. officials said this week that most of those made homeless by May's earthquake were still living in tents near their damaged villages and that Iranian authorities were expected to start rebuilding some of the ruined houses soon.

Iran has been hit by at least three major earthquakes in the past year as well as scores of tremors and thousands of aftershocks that U.N. officials say have stretched the country's relief supplies to the limit.

Iran said this month it needed $100 million over the next 18 months to reconstruct regions devastated by the earthquakes. It said 30,500 houses would be built in the area of the May 10 quake.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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