Apr 16, 2013 at 3:08pm
Hundreds feared dead after strong earthquake hits Iran
A major earthquake has struck Iran close to the border with Pakistan.
Iranian state television is reporting that at least 40 people have been killed.
Tremors from the 7.8 magnitude quake were felt across the Gulf region as well as in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In the Indian capital, New Delhi, buildings shook for close to a minute.
Officials in Pakistan have said that five people were killed by the quake on the Pakistani side of the border.
Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant is thought to have escaped any damage in Iran’s second quake in the last seven days.
An Iranian government official said he expected “hundreds of deaths” from the earthquake.
“It was the biggest earthquake in Iran in 40 years and we are expecting hundreds of dead,” said the official.
However, the Fars news agency reported that the Iranian city of Saravan, which is nearest to the epicentre of the quake has not suffered serious damage.
The Iranian Red Crescent’s Mahmoud Mozaffar told state television that there are no communications with the affected area and rescue teams have been dispatched.
The epicenter was in southeast Iran in an area of mountains and desert, 201 km (125 miles) southeast of Zahedan and 250 km northwest of Turbat in Pakistan, the US Geological Survey said, and was at a depth of 15.2 km (9.4 miles).
On April 9, a powerful 6.3 magnitude quake struck close to Iran’s only nuclear power station, killing 37 people, injuring 850 and devastating two villages.