TEHRAN -- A magnitude 5.2 earthquake shook the province of Khorasan Razavi in northeastern Iran Monday morning, the country’s seismological center said.
The quake struck at 8:32 a.m. local time (0402 GMT) near the city of Quchan and was felt in many areas of the province, most notably the provincial capital of Mashhad.
“Rescue teams in the cities of Mashhad, Kalat, Chenaran and Nayshabur are on high alert,” the Red Crescent said in a statement.
Quchan Governor Aminreza Merati said based on the preliminary reports, the quake had caused no damage or casualties. The quake caused residents of Quchan to rush out of their homes in panic.
Brigadier General Reza Azarian, the commander of the Iranian Army’s ground forces in northeast Iran, put his units in Quchan and neighboring Bojnurd on alert for rescue and relief operations.
Iran experiences frequent seismic activity as it sits where two major tectonic plates meet.
The earthquakes have sometimes turned disastrous over the past years. In 2003, more than 26,000 people lost their lives following a major quake that ruined the ancient city of Bam in eastern Iran. In 1990, a 7.4-magnitude quake in northern Iran killed thousands of people.
At least two other significant quakes stuck in 2005 and 2012, which killed a total of about 1,000 people.