10 Apr 2013

Deadly earthquake strikes Iran

10:58 am on 10 April 2013

More than 30 people are reported to have been killed by a 6.3 earthquake in south-west Iran but officials say a nuclear power plant in the area has not been affected.

The quake struck about 4.20pm on Tuesday, 90 kilometres south of the country's only nuclear power station in Bushehr, the US Geological Survey says. Seismologists said it was at a depth of 10 kilometres and was near the town of Kaki.

Bushehr's governor Fereydun Hasanvand told Iranian state television the nuclear plant has not been damaged.

Officials say 850 people have been injured and Iran's Red Crescent is sending rescue teams to the area, where two villages have reportedly been levelled.

Mr Hasanvand said that of those wounded, 750 had minor injuries and the rest had been sent to provincial hospitals.

Some 10,000 people are thought to live in the affected area in more than 50 villages.

Tens of aftershocks - the strongest measuring a magnitude of 5.4 - struck within an hour, sending many people into the streets for safety.

State media reported that phone lines had been brought down by the quake and its aftershocks.

The BBC reports the quake was felt across the Gulf in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.

Iran straddles a major geological fault line, making it prone to seismic activity. In 2003, an earthquake in the city of Bam left more than 25,000 people dead.