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Powerful earthquakes strike Iran, killing at least 180, destroying villages

Hamed Nazari / Mehr News Agency via AFP - Getty Images

An Iranian man and a child walk past destroyed houses in the town of Varzaqan, Iran on Aug. 11.

The U.S. Geological survey measured the first quake, which struck 37 miles northeast of the city Tabriz, at 3:25 p.m. local time (6:55 a.m. ET) with a 6.4 magnitude. The second quake, which occurred 11 minutes later, struck an area about 30 miles northeast of Tabriz with a 6.3 magnitude. 

Most of the casualties were in outlying villages, Reuters reported.

-- Reported by Andrew Mach, NBC News

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Ali Hamed Haghdoust / Mehr News Agency via AP

A woman talks as she tends her injured loved one after an earthquake in Varzaqan, Iran, on Saturday, Aug. 11. A 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit the towns of Ahar, Haris and Varzaqan in East Azerbaijan province in northwestern Iran on Saturday, state TV said. Iran is located on seismic fault lines and is prone to earthquakes. It experiences at least one earthquake every day on average, although the vast majority are so small they go unnoticed.

Fars News Agency via Reuters

An injured person is taken to hospital in Ahar, Iran, Aug. 11.