June 3, 2006

Quake on Iranian island kills two, hurts several

TEHRAN (Reuters) - An earthquake on an island off Iran's
southern coast killed two people and injured several others on
Saturday, an official and state media said.

The 5.2 magnitude quake struck at 10:45 a.m. (0715 GMT).
The full extent of the damage was not immediately known.

"A four-year-old girl has been killed in Ramkan village on
Qeshm island and several people were injured (in the village
of) Zirang," said Hamid Gholampour, an emergency official in
the southern province of Hormuzgan.

State television later added a man had also been killed. It
showed stone houses on Qeshm with minor damage such as cracked
plaster and bricks that had slipped out of place.

A spokeswoman for the Red Crescent aid network said rescue
teams had been sent to the area.

Ten people were killed when an earthquake measuring 5.9
razed villages on Qeshm in November. The traditional mud-brick
dwellings of southern Iran are highly vulnerable to quakes.

Qeshm is the biggest island in the Gulf and is a free-trade
zone with a population of about 120,000. It is not in an
oil-producing area.

It is famed for its mangroves and its beaches are much
loved by tourists and nesting sea-turtles.