Two major earthquakes hit southern Iran within a minute; a dead

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Two powerful earthquakes hit southern Iran in quick succession, killing at least one person and causing panicked residents to plunge into the streets.

Esmaeil Bayramnejad, the head of the Iranian Seismological Center, told state television that the two 6.4 and 6.3 magnitude tremors hit one minute apart, respectively, in an area near Qeshm Island, near to the port city of Bandar Abbas on Sunday afternoon.

Earthquakes have been felt in neighboring provinces, including Kerman, and in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Several aftershocks were reported in the following hours in Iran.

The victim died when a light pole fell on him as he was walking down a street in Bandar Abbas. Social media videos also showed parts of Geno Mountain in Bandar Abbas collapsing.

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Emergency officials told state TV that no further casualties or major damage have been reported so far.

“We were working when we felt the building shake,” a young woman told state TV. “We thought it was going to be over soon, but it went on for about 30 seconds, so we’re done.”

Electricity and internet outages have been reported in the affected provinces, some of which have also experienced outages in landlines. Officials said they would be reconnected soon.

President Ebrahim Raisi has ordered an immediate meeting of his cabinet to discuss measures to ensure the safety of the affected areas. He also ordered his first vice president, Mohammad Mohkber, to go to Hormozgan to personally assess the situation.

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Oddly, the earthquakes come the day after a senior deputy from Tehran municipality announced that a large 13-hectare cemetery is being prepared to house the victims of a potentially deadly earthquake in the capital.

Experts have warned for years that Tehran could someday be hit by a major earthquake as it is located close to fault lines.

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