The 2005 Qeshm earthquake occurred on November 27 at 13:52 IRST (10:22 UTC) on the sparsely populated Qeshm Island off Southern Iran, killing 13 people and devastating 13 villages. It was Iran's second major earthquake of 2005, following the one at Zarand in February. The epicenter was about 1,500 kilometers (930 mi) south of Tehran, close to Iran's southern borders. Initial measurements showed that the earthquake registered about 6.0 on the moment magnitude scale, although that was reduced to 5.8 after further analysis. More than 400 minor aftershocks followed the main quake, 36 of which were greater than magnitude 2.5. The earthquake occurred in a remote area during the middle of the day, limiting the number of fatalities. Iranian relief efforts were effective and largely adequate, leading the country to decline offers of support from other nations and UNICEF.
Qeshm Island is part of the Simply Folded Belt, the most seismically active part of the Zagros fold and thrust belt. Similar to most earthquakes in the area, the 2005 event resulted from reverse slip faulting. Since it lies in such a seismically active area, there is a high risk of destructive earthquakes in Iran; 1 in 3,000 deaths are attributable to earthquakes. One geophysicist has cited the lack of strict building codes as a serious concern.
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