05/07/2020 - Earthquake near Tehran, Iran

Affected Population
Moderate quake near Tehran causes widespread panic: One dead, little damage

A moderate quake on Thursday evening has triggered widespread fear across the Iranian capital Tehran, making many residents rushing out of their houses. According to the Iranian Seismological Center, the earthquake of Local Magnitude 5.1 was located near the town of Damavand about 60 kilometer east of the capital’s center. 

Minor to moderate shaking was felt in all parts of Tehran and some more distant cities like Qom or Rasht. Stronger, damaging intensities were reported from Damavand and surrounding villages, where multiple houses suffered minor damage like cracked or partially collapsed walls. A minor landslide caused temporarily blockage of a road and power disruptions occurred and some places. No massive destruction was reported. However, dozens of residents in Damavand area and Tehran were injured during the panic. So far, 2 fatalities have been reported. One of them, an elderly person, suffered severe head injuries after a fall and died shortly after.

Several large thrust faults, many with strike-slip components, are running through northern Iran from east to west, including the hazardous North Tehran fault. The recent quake likely originated from the Mosha fault, which forms one of the eastern branches of the North Tehran Fault. Due to the shallow depth of 7 km, this quake caused high, damaging intensity (VI to VII). There is no connection to the nearby Damavand volcano, the tallest mountain in Iran. 

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Event Characteristics
Latitude 35.78 °N
Longitude 52.05 °E
Date & Time May 7, 2020, 8:18 p.m.
Magnitude mb 5.1
Depth 7 km
Last Update 2020-05-07