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Human Rights Activist and Iranian journalist Kourosh Sehati has warned millions of lives in Iran could be at risk due to a large amount of oil reserves being kept near to an active earthquake zone. Mr Sehati has highlighted an oil department in Tehran, which is located near a fault line, as an area at high risk of triggering an explosion.
He has warned any potential blast would be “worse” than the devastating chemical warehouse explosion that killed more than 150 people and injured 5,000 others in Beirut, Lebanon.
Three oil departments including one in Shahran – located north-west of Tehran – have been identified as a potential cause for disaster.
Tehran is home to some of the largest gas reserves with capacity of 30,000 litres of oil spread across 300 tankers.
When asked about the risks and how many people could be affected by any blast, Mr Sehati said: “There are at least three facilities in Tehran.
“Shahran in the northwest, Sohanak in the northeast, and Rey in the south part of the city.
“I can say millions. Much more than Beirut.”
Fears of an earthquake triggering a disaster in the area have also been highlighted by Tehran City Council member Majid Farahani.
Mr Farahani claimed Iran is under threat of a blast triggered by a natural disaster hundreds of times per day.
He warned “Shahran faces danger 300 times a day and nobody is paying any attention”.
The capital Tehran is situated on an active fault line known as the Mosha-Fasham.
Iran is hit with thousands of low-level earthquakes each year, but several hundred have been recorded with a magnitude above four.
In 2017, the Iranian Seismological Center (IRSC) recorded more than 16,000 earthquakes.
The IRSC found 235 earthquakes were measured above 4.0 on the Richter scale.
Mr Sehati has warned not enough is being done to protect the country from the threat of natural disasters.
He said: “The Government’s crisis management is weak. Not enough help to victims in several earthquakes.
“Buildings are old, and new ones are not standard.
“Any powerful earthquake is a disaster, and if any happen in Tehran it can take millions of lives.”
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Fears over an explosion at a storage facility in Iran have been heightened after a warehouse storing ammonium nitrate blow up in Beirut on August 4.
The warehouse containing 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate blew up after the roof caught fire.
The explosion sent shockwaves across the city and smashed windows at Beirut International Airport’s passenger terminal, located abound five miles away from the port.
According to the United States Geological Survey, the blast was felt across the Mediterranean Sea and was the equivalent of a 3.3-magnitude earthquake.
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