Strong Earthquake Shakes Iran, Deaths Reported
There's been a strong earthquake, with an estimated magnitude of 7.8, in southeastern Iran near the border with Pakistan, the U.S. Geological Survey reports.
The temblor was centered about 53 miles east southeast of the small city of Khash. According to USGS, it was about 9.4 miles deep.
The BBC says that "tremors have been felt across the Gulf and the Middle East. Tall buildings swayed in the Indian capital Delhi, reports say."
Reuters reports that an Iranian officials says there may have been hundreds of deaths.
Last Tuesday (April 9), a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in western Iran caused an estimated 37 deaths and more than 800 injuries.
We'll watch for more news about this latest quake.
Update at 11:06 a.m. ET. Conflicting Accounts On Deaths:
While earlier there were reports of deaths in Iran, Reuters now says there were 13 deaths in neighboring Pakistan — but perhaps none in Iran. The wire service writes that a local governor in Iran, Hatam Narouyi, says, "Fortunately, the earthquake resulted in no fatalities."
Update at 9:22 a.m. ET. Depth Greater Than First Thought:
USGS now estimates the earthquake's depth was 51 miles, rather than the initial 9.4 miles estimate. A deeper quake could mean less damage above ground.
Update at 8:30 a.m. ET. Area Is Home To 2 Million:
"The worst-hit area, along Iran's southeastern border, is home to nearly 2 million people, who live in three main cities, Zahaedan, the provincial center, and the epicenter of the earthquake between the cities of Saravan and Khash, where roughly 400,000 people live, the semiofficial Tabnak Web site reported." (The New York Times)
NPR's Peter Kenyon adds that "the Fars news agency reports that many of the houses in the region are made of mud bricks, which can be very vulnerable to quake damage."
Update at 8:05 a.m. ET. Some Deaths:
At least 40 people were killed, Iran's Press TV is reporting.