A very large 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck near the border between Iran and Pakistan on Tuesday. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) , this quake had an intermediate depth which likely resulted in fewer casualties and destruction than a much shallower quake would have.
* The USGS located the epicenter of this earthquake about 52 miles east of Khash in southeastern Iran, near that country's border with Pakistan.
* The website Earthquake-Report.com reported that there have been at least 34 deaths in Pakistan and one death in Iran.
* Earthquake-Report.com also reported that Pakistan TV stated that at least 150 people were injured in the Pakistani town of Mashkeel Tehsil, which is located in southwestern Pakinstan in a province known as Baluchistan. The website also reported that more than 1,000 homes were damaged in the same area.
* Reuters reported that shaking from this temblor was felt as far away as India and the Gulf Arab states.
* Reuters also reported that the earthquake cut communications in the sparsely populated region around the epicenter. The location of the epicenter is a mountainous desert region in southeastern Iran and is far from any Iranian nuclear facilities.
* Last week, a 6.3 magnitude quake struck southwestern Iran near the Bushehr nuclear power plant, which is located along the Gulf coast. The earthquake resulted in 37 deaths and 850 injuries in Iran.
* According to the USGS, the Iranian region is seismically active and the location of Tuesday's quake saw a 7.2 magnitude quake in January of 2011 approximately 120 miles to the east.
* Tuesday's earthquake was larger than the largest magnitude quakes that have been registered in Iran in the past. Historically, the largest magnitudes recorded for earthquakes in Iran were 7.3 to 7.4 range, according to the USGS .
* The most devastating and deadly quake to strike Iran the last 50 years occurred in 1990. According to the USGS , a 7.4 magnitude quake struck western Iran, leaving 50,000 people dead and injuring 60,000. Landslides and major destruction resulted from this large earthquake. More than 400,000 people were left homeless following the quake.
* In Pakistan, the deadliest earthquake in modern times occurred in 2005 when a 7.6 magnitude quake struck about 65 miles northeast of Islamabad. According to the USGS , that quake killed at least 86,000 people, injured more than 69,000 and caused massive damage in the northern part of Pakistan.
Tammy Lee Morris is certified as a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member and is a trained Skywarn Storm Spotter through the National Weather Service. She has received interpretive training regarding the New Madrid Seismic Zone through EarthScope -- a program of the National Science Foundation. She researches and writes about emergency preparedness, earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes, weather and other natural phenomena.
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