Fri Jan 6, 2017 9:27AM
An earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale hit the Iranian southern town of Khonj on January 6, 2016.
An earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale hit the Iranian southern town of Khonj on January 6, 2016.

An earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale has hit Iran’s southern city of Khonj in Fars Province, killing four people and injuring four others.

As a result of the earthquake, which occurred at 6 a.m. local time on Friday, the walls of old buildings crumbled and the local power grid was shut down.

Officials have dispatched search and rescue teams to the quake-hit areas.

According to the director general of the province’s crisis management organization, Hasan Fayyazpour, the entire area is currently on a state of alert.

Fayyazpour noted that those killed were Afghan nationals. More than 2.5 million Afghan nationals have been living in Iran for about four decades, mostly in eastern and southern areas.

Earthquakes are common in Iran as the country sits on a series of seismic fault lines.

In 2003, some 26,000 people were killed by a magnitude-6.6 quake that jolted the historic southeastern city of Bam.