Iran An earthquake shook Iran's central desert Monday evening, sending people in the holy city of Qom pouring into the streets in fear, but no injuries or major damage were reported, residents and state television said.
The 5.6-magnitude earthquake was felt in Tehran and several other cities, causing cracks in walls of some buildings in rural areas and in a suburb of Qom, about 80 miles south of Tehran, state television said.
Qom is the theological center for Shiite Islam in Iran, and the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran's revolutionary and religious patriarch, taught there for years.
The earthquake occurred as the city was undergoing a religious celebration commemorating the anniversary of the death of Fatima, daughter of Islam's Prophet Muhammad.
Iran is located on seismic fault lines and is prone to earthquakes. It experiences at least one slight earthquake every day on average.