WORLD : 5.5 Quake Jolts Southern Iran

From Times Wire Services

A powerful earthquake jolted Iran's oil-rich province of Khuzestan today, a little more than a month after a devastating temblor in the north killed 40,000 people.

The Islamic Republic News Agency, monitored in Nicosia, said the tremor struck in mid-afternoon and measured 5.5 on the open-ended Richter scale.

The dispatch said reports of possible damage or loss of life were not immediately available.

Khuzestan is located on the oil-producing belt in southern Iran.

IRNA said a series of strong jolts had also shaken the town of Ardebil and surrounding areas in the northwestern province of East Azerbaijan over the last three days. It said the strongest jolt, measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale, occurred Thursday night.

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