Two earthquakes struck near a nuclear power plant in southwestern Iran on Wednesday morning, just over a week after another quake hit the region.
The first quake, measuring 4.9 magnitude, struck just before 9.00 a.m. local time in Bushehr province, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
Around 30 minutes later a second quake, this time measuring 4.5 magnitude, struck the same province which runs along the Iranian coastline.
The quake epicenters were within 20 kilometers of the city of Borazjan — a short distance from the country’s Bushehr nuclear power plant.
Another earthquake, measuring 5.1 magnitude, struck the same region less than two weeks ago.
In a dramatic day for Iran, the two quakes happened just hours after the country fired a number of missiles at two Iraqi bases housing US troops, in retaliation for the US’ killing of a top Iranian general last week.
In the wake of Qasem Soleimani’s killing last week, Iran said it was ending its commitment to the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
Opened in August 2010, Bushehr is not only Iran’s first nuclear plant but the first civilian reactor in the Middle East.
History of deadly quakes
Iran is no stranger to tectonic activity. The country sits on a major fault line between the Arabian and Eurasian plates, and has experienced many earthquakes in the past.
In November, at least five people died and 330 others injured when a 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck northwestern Iran.
A quake that struck near the Iran-Iraq border in November 2017 killed at least 452 people.
The deadliest quake this century occurred in 2003, when a magnitude 6.6 earthquake struck the southeastern Iranian city of Bam, killing some 26,000 people.