Iran “ M 5.6 “ Strong and dangerous shallow earthquake just under Torbat-e Heydariyeh

Earthquake Report comment :
An very dangerous earthquake has struck in a very populated area near Iran city Torbat-e Heydariyeh.
The houses are NOT earthquake-proof constructed in this area, creating a very vulnerable environment.
Population in the immediate vicinity of the epicenter is estimated at 126.000.
We expect probable serious damage and even injuries as a result of this earthquake.
Series of smaller aftershocks may occur in the same region.
A lot of unknown factors will decide on the impact (duration of the quake, terrain, etc).
We will report with updates if more news becomes available.

The worst earthquake in recent years, of 6.3 magnitude, struck the southeastern city of Bam, in Kerman province, in December 2003, killing 31,000 people -- about a quarter of its population -- and destroying the city's ancient mud-built citadel.

Update 1 : 1u10 minutes after the quake, still no news from the Iranian press
Torbat-e Heydarieh  is famous for its Zafaran lands.
It has the first rank in the world for producing Saffron or Zafaran in Persian (Source : Wikipedia)

Update 2 ; First reports from the earthquake struck area : Based on the incoming reports, quake in Torbat-Heydarieh has damaged a number of rural residential units, the cars parked in streets, power cables and other telecommunication facilities. Large number of cattles have also been killed. Reports are yet to come on further details. (Source IRNA)

Update 3 : 3h30m after the quake struck, still no news from the epicenter area.
Only INRA did send a small communique stating damages to livestock, cars and some houses. Rescue teams were under way, but they take a long time to communicate on the impact of the earthquake.
It is now 21h47 (9:47 PM) in Iran

Update 4 : The earthquake damaged "between 50 and 100 percent of some villages," provincial official Bahram Soltani was quoted as saying earlier by ISNA.
Efforts were under way to recover people who were still trapped under debris, while most of the injured were treated without being hospitalized, the reports said (source isna & afp)

Update 5 :  Will Iran call for international help if needed and set aside his pride ?
Earthquake Report  feared from the very beginning that the impact of this earthquake might be high in damage and even in injured people.
It took the the Iranian news agencies hours before they could give apprehensive information of the earthquake zone. Still now, 7 hours later we have still not a good view on the precise size of the damages. As it is night in Iran, it will take many more hours before we will get new accurate information.
We truly hope that the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran can put aside there pride and will make a call for help to the International Community if external help would boost rescue efforts.

Update 6 : QuakeSOS assumes that the toll of the Iranian earthquake will rise the coming hours.
Iranian press is very scarce in details, but the following excerpt from an Iranian governor does not mean good news at all.
Torbat-e Heydarieh Gov. Mojtaba Sadeqian said 110 people were injured and at least one person was in critical condition, according to the official Press TV
"There were no immediate reports of any mortalities in the earthquake. However, it is widely believed that a large number of people are trapped under the rubble, and the casualties are expected to be high," he said. (Source CNN)

Update 7 : Javad Erfanian, head of the provincial crisis management center, told IRNA that most of the injured have been treated without being hospitalized. He added that 13 injured are still in hospitals while two of them are in critical condition. Erfanian said that the quake has inflicted damage between 20 and 70 percent on several villages of Torbat-e Heydarieh and Zaveh. (Source IRNA)

Update 8 : Number of injured people climbing to 274 (source - Iranian Labour News Agency)

Update 9 : Injured number of people climbing to 284. Still no word of the extend of the damages .

Most important Earthquake Data:
Friday, July 30, 2010 at 05:20:12 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 17 km
Geolocation(s) :
NEAR Torbat-e Heydariyeh, Iran
115 km (70 miles) SSE of Neyshabur, Iran
120 km (75 miles) SSW of Mashhad, Iran
715 km (445 miles) E of TEHRAN, Iran

Links to important maps
USGS Did You Feel It Map
USGS Shaking map
USGS Pager map
Google satellite map of the area showing the kind of terrain the earthquake took place
EMSC epicenter and fault line map