EghtesadOnline: In the wake of an earthquake that jolted Tehran and its surrounding cities this week, the National Iranian Gas Company says it has devised a way to avoid major gas explosions in the aftermath of a stronger quake in the capital.
A quake in urban areas is often compounded by cracks in gas pipelines that cause deadly explosions. But according to the NIGC Spokesman Majid Boujarzadeh, the state gas company would cut off supply to Tehran once a strong earthquake hits the city of 8 million people.
“Some of the main gas valves will automatically be shut off if a strong earthquake hits the capital and other valves will be immediately cut off manually by the NIGC personnel,” he was quoted as saying by ILNA on Thursday.
Boujarzadeh noted that several provinces have been put on alert for a possible earthquake, after which they are to operate, according to Financial Tribune.
A magnitude 5.2 earthquake rattled the city of Meshkindasht 50 kilometers west of Tehran in Alborz Province about 11:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday.
An elderly woman and a young girl died and nearly 100 people were injured, as the earthquake triggered panic in Tehran and neighboring areas.
The official noted that Tehran’s gas supply network was unaffected.
Geological studies indicate that a massive earthquake can occur in Tehran. According to an estimate, a magnitude 7 earthquake can destroy 30% of buildings in Tehran and kill at least 100,000 people.
The quake that threw Tehran into disarray and forced officials to close schools and public offices served as a test of how the capital is ready to face a stronger earthquake that could cause a catastrophe of unthinkable proportion.
Last month, close to 500 people died in a magnitude 7.3 earthquake that rocked the western Kermanshah Province and reduced tens of towns and villages to rubble.