Quake hits near Iran's nuclear city Bushehr, dozens killed
Tuesday, April 09, 2013 - 00:37
April 9 - A powerful earthquake struck close to Iran's only nuclear power station Tuesday, killing dozens as Iran says plant not damaged. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: A powerful earthquake struck close to Iran's only nuclear power station on Tuesday, killing 30 people and injuring 800 as it devastated small villages, state media reported.
The U.N. Nuclear agency in Vienna said Iran told it that earthquake caused no damage to Bushehr plant and there was no radioactive release.
The 6.3 magnitude quake totally destroyed one village, a Red Crescent official told the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA), but the nearby Bushehr nuclear plant was undamaged, according to a local politician and the Russian company that built it.
Many houses in rural parts of the province are made of mud brick, which can easily crumble in a quake.
Across the Gulf, offices in Qatar and Bahrain were evacuated after the quake, whose epicenter was 89 km (55 miles) southeast of the port of Bushehr, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The early afternoon shock was also felt in financial hub Dubai.
Abdulkarim Jomeiri, a member of parliament for Bushehr, told IRNA that "the distance between the earthquake focal point and the Bushehr nuclear power plant was about 80 km and, on the basis of the latest information, there has been no damage to the power plant."
Tuesday's quake was much smaller than the 9.0 magnitude one that hit Japan two years ago, triggering a tsunami that destroyed back-up generators and disabled the Fukushima nuclear plant's cooling system. Three of the reactors melted down.
Iran is the only country operating a nuclear power plant that does not belong to the Convention on Nuclear Safety, negotiated after the 1986 nuclear disaster in Chernobyl which contaminated wide areas and forced about 160,000 Ukrainians from their homes.
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