Iran earthquakes kill at least 180 people, injure thousands

Two powerful earthquakes that hit northwest Iran late Saturday night killed at least 180 people and injured about 1,500 others.

Local media reported that at pre-dawn Sunday, there were about 40 aftershocks occuring minutes after the quakes destroyed most parts of six villages.

The U.S. Geological Survey measured the first earthquake that struck 60 kilometers northeast of Tabriz city at magnitude 6.4.

The second quake, measuring at magnitude 6.3, struck near the town of Varzaghan eleven minutes later, the USGS said.

The time of night and darkness have disrupted emergency efforts made by rescue teams, although there were several victims who were taken out from the rubble of buildings that collapsed, reports said.

Iranian media quoted local officials as saying that the number of casualties could increase.

Citing Iran’s health minister Marzieh Vahid Dastejerdi, state news agency IRNA reported that the government already dispatched 48 ambulances to areas worst hit by the catastrophe.

Watch these videos of areas damaged by the Iran earthquakes that occured on August 11, 2012: