A powerful earthquake struck a sparsely populated stretch of southeastern Iran late Monday, killing at least 11 people, injuring at least 40 and damaging 1,800 homes, state media reported early Tuesday.
The 6.5-magnitude quake struck 30 villages populated by no more than 4,000 people, state radio reported. Rescue efforts are hampered by downed phone lines and landslides that have blocked access to certain villages, official media cited officials as saying, Los Angeles Times reports.
The quake struck at 10:12 pm (1842 GMT) on Monday and was felt as far away as the neighbouring province of Sistan-Baluchestan on the Pakistan border.
State media reports said the temblor brought down communication and power lines and wrecked villages around the epicentre of Hosseinabad, many of which consist of mud-brick homes.
Nearly two dozen villages were partially or completely destroyed, the reports said, adding that members of the Basij militia had been deployed to help the victims, AFP says.
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