TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club(YJC)_The moderate quake had a depth of eight kilometers and struck near the city of Tark, around 120 kilometers from the provincial capital Tabriz, at 2:17 local time (2247 GMT).
The tremor caused many people to leave their houses and run to the streets in a state of panic.
According to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC), some 20 million people felt the quake across Iran and possibly in neighboring Turkey. The earthquakes' shallow depth amplified the shaking.
Aftershocks ranging between 4.1 to 4.8 in magnitude were reported in neighboring cities.
Mohammad Baqer Honar, head of East Azerbaijan's crisis management center, said as many as eight rescue teams were sent to the areas.
Initial reports confirmed major damage to houses and buildings in at least three villages in the nearby city of Miyaneh.
Iran experiences frequent seismic activity as it sits where two major tectonic plates meet.
The earthquakes have some times turned disastrous over the past years. In 2003, more than 26,000 people lost their lives following a major quake that decimated the ancient city of Bam in eastern Iran. In 1990, a 7.4-magnitude quake in northern Iran killed thousands of people.
At least two other significant quakes stuck in 2005 and 2012, which killed a total of about 1,000 people.