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Jan 11, 4:01 AM EST

The Latest: US expert: Rapid Iran-Iraq quakes not unusual


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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- The Latest on earthquakes that have rattled the Iran-Iraq border region (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

A scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey has confirmed that so far, seven separate earthquakes have struck along the Iran-Iraq border area in the morning hours. The scientist says it appears that all are aftershocks from a November temblor that killed over 530 people.

Geophysicist Randy Baldwin told The Associated Press on Thursday that such quakes should be expected in the region after the November 7.2 magnitude temblor.

Baldwin, speaking from Golden, Colorado, said that "it's ongoing activity there. ... If there was a stressed fault that's ready to move, they happen like that until the stresses are relieved, so it's not too unusual."

The USGS says the preliminary magnitude of six of the temblors was at least 5, while the seventh was a magnitude 4.

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11:20 a.m.

The U.S. Geological Survey says three earthquakes with a magnitude of around 5 have struck along the Iran-Iraq border.

The temblors hit on Thursday morning, were felt far and wide and even rattled the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

Iranian state television reported people rushed out into the streets amid the temblors.

In November, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck the same border region between Iran and Iraq, killing 530 people and injuring more than 9,000.

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9 a.m.

Iranian media are reporting that a magnitude 5.1 earthquake has jolted the country's southern province of Kerman.

The official IRNA news agency says the temblor rocked the village of Hojedk, located about 700 kilometers, or 400 miles, south of Tehran early on Thursday. It says the quake's depth was 10 kilometers, or 6.2 miles.

There was no immediate report on damages or casualties. The media say residents rushed out to the streets after the quake.

Kerman has recently seen several quakes, ranging in magnitude from 4 to 6.2. In November, a 7.2 magnitude quake hit western Iran, killing more than 600 people.

Iran sits on major fault lines and is prone to near-daily earthquakes. In 2003, a 6.6 magnitude quake flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people.

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