TEHRAN (Armenpress)–The powerful earthquake in northwestern Iran on June 22–7:58 p.m. local time–has killed at least 500 people–injured 1,500 and left tens of thousands homeless–RFE/RL reported.
Dozens of mountain villages are reported to be damaged or destroyed in the quake–which measured at 6.0 on the Richter scale. Red Crescent officials say 5,000 houses have been destroyed and 25,000 people are now homeless. A series of aftershocks inflicted additional damage.
President Mohammad Khatami issued a message of condolence to the Iranian nation and instructed the Interior Ministry to work with other agencies to act quickly in offering assistance to victims.
The quake was centered near Bouynzahra–about 200 kilometers west of Tehran–in the Qazvin Province. Bouynzahra Governor Ali Mousavi said the quake devastated the water and power infrastructure in the area.