Photo Credit: USGS.gov
Map of Jan. 6 2017 earthquake in Kermanshah Province, Iran

A serious earthquake struck the Kurdish city of Sar Pol-e Zahab at 6:55 pm local time Saturday evening in the western Iranian province of Kermanshah, around 320 miles west of Tehran, right on the Iran-Iraq border, registering 5.0-magnitude on the Richter scale, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The earthquake was reported at a depth of about five miles – a relatively shallow depth which usually leads to more damage.

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Initial date indicates at least 21 people were injured, according to the head of the local medical treatment network, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.

Two were hospitalized so far.

Five aftershocks shook the region between 6:50 pm and around 9:00 pm local time, with the quakes being felt as far away as Gilan-e Gharb and Qasr-e Shirin.

On November 12, 2017, a deadly 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck an area just 32 kilometers from Sarpol-e Zahab, leaving 620 dead and 12,386 wounded, according to IRNA.

Since that time, a total of 1,600 aftershocks have struck Kermanshah Province, with 10 cities and 1,930 villages across the province damaged as a result.

Iran declined to accept help from any foreign nation.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.