TEHRAN, Iran -- A powerful earthquake shook central Iran early today, killing at least 80 people, injuring more than 300 and disrupting power to the region, state-run television reported.
Provincial Gvernor Mohammad Ali Karimi was quoted by the TV station saying that "several villages have been destroyed" by the 6.4-magnitude quake in Kerman province. At least 80 people were killed and more than 300 injured in the earthquake, the broadcast quoted Interior Ministry spokesman Jahanbakhsh Khanjani.
The epicenter of the earthquake, which struck at 5:55 a.m., was 35 miles from Kerman, capital of Kerman province, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
The television quoted the governor of Zarand, identified only as Rashidi, as saying that power in the region has been disrupted. Zarand, about 600 miles southeast of the capital Tehran, is a small town in Kerman Province. The television broadcast said that rescuers were en route to several villages near Zarand. A magnitude-6.6 quake in December 2003 flattened the historic southeastern city of Bam in the same region, killing 26,000 people.
Iran is located on seismic fault lines and is prone to earthquakes.