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April 16 2013

Iran's Massive Earthquake Explained

The strongest earthquake to hit Iran in more than 50 years was a subduction-zone quake the same tectonic setting underlying deadly temblors in Japan, Chile and Indonesia.

The magnitude-7.8 Khash earthquake struck 51 miles (82 kilometers) beneath the Earth's surface, where the Arabian Plate dives under the massive Eurasian Plate, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported. The quake hit today (April 16) at 3:14 p.m. local time (6:44 a.m. EDT). Shaking was felt from New Delhi to Dubai, and dozens of people have been reported killed by collapsed structures, according to news reports. The USGS said that there will be more than a 47 percent chance of more than 1,000 fatalities.

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