Iran earthquake: 32 killed and hundreds injured near nuclear plant


Huge earthquake near nuclear plant in Iran kills 37 and injures hundredsTremor strikes in rural deep south of Iran crushing houses to rubble
Authorities insist no damage to nuclear plant nearby but no verification

PUBLISHED:

17:20 GMT, 9 April 2013

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UPDATED:

00:23 GMT, 10 April 2013

At least 37 people were killed and hundreds more injured in a 6.1 magnitude earthquake near a nuclear plant in southern Iran on Tuesday, Iranian officials said.

The earthquake struck the town of Kaki some 96 kilometers (60 miles) southeast of Bushehr, a town on the Persian Gulf that is home of Iran's first nuclear power plant, built with Russian help.

Authorities said it did not damage a nuclear plant in the region.

Earthquake damage: Crushed houses in the earthquake stricken town of Bushehr in Iran

Earthquake damage: Crushed houses in the earthquake stricken town of Bushehr in Iran

Quake strength: The United States Geological Survey image showing a map of the area of the 6.3 magnitude eathquake that struck the Bandar Bushehr region of Iran

Quake strength: The United States Geological Survey image showing a map of the area of the 6.3 magnitude eathquake that struck the Bandar Bushehr region of Iran

'No damage was done to Bushehr power plant,' Bushehr provincial governor Fereidoun Hasanvand told state TV. He said 37 people died and 850 were injured, including 100 who were hospitalized.

Water and electricity were cut to many residents, said Ebrahim Darvishi, governor of the worst-hit district Shonbeh.

Shahpour Rostami, the deputy governor of Bushehr province, told state TV that rescue teams have been deployed to Shonbeh. Three helicopters were sent to survey the damaged area before sunset, said Mohammad Mozaffar, the head of Iran's Red Crescent rescue department.

Kaki resident Mondani Hosseini told The Associated Press that people had run out into the streets out of fear.

Iran announced three days of mourning.

The quake was felt across the Gulf in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, where workers were evacuated from high-rise buildings as a precaution.

Earlier on Sunday a lighter earthquake jolted the nearby area. Iran is located on seismic faults and it experiences frequent earthquakes.

In 2003, some 26,000 people were killed by a 6.6 magnitude quake that flattened the historic southeastern city of Bam.