Iran: Avalanches kill at least 10 in Alborz mountain range

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A series of avalanches in Iran have killed 10 people, according to state TV.

Rescue teams were reported to be searching for a number of missing people after the avalanches struck four different areas in a mountainous region north of the capital Tehran on Christmas Day.

Emergency crews were using helicopters to search for those missing and injured.

Strong winds and snowfall led to what were rare avalanches in the Alborz mountain range, which is popular for hiking and climbing.

Deadly avalanches are not a common occurrence in Iran, although two did kill 11 hikers back in 2017.

As search teams continued their work in the Alborz, a 5.3 magnitude quake struck Elazig province in neighbouring eastern Turkey on Sunday.

Turkey's interior minister Suleyman Soylu tweeted there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

Such quakes are common in Turkey, as the country is crisscrossed by major fault lines.

In January, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Elazig, killing 41 people in that province and neighbouring Malatya.

Another deadly quake struck the western port city of Izmir in October, killing 116 people.

Turkey's worst such disaster in decades came in 1999, when a pair of strong earthquakes struck the northwest, killing around 18,000 people.