TEHRAN — A 6.1 magnitude earthquake killed at least 37 and injured hundreds more in a sparsely populated area in southern Iran on Tuesday, Iranian officials said, adding that it did not damage a nuclear plant in the region.
The report said the earthquake struck the town of Kaki some 60 miles southeast of Bushehr, a town on the Persian Gulf that is home of Iran’s first nuclear power plant.
“No damage was done to Bushehr power plant,” Bushehr governor Fereidoun Hasanvand told state TV. He said 37 people had died and 850 were injured, including 100 who were hospitalized.
The plant’s chief, Mahmoud Jafari, confirmed the site’s condition to the semi-official Mehr news agency, saying that it is resistant to earthquakes of up to magnitude 8.
Water and electricity were cut to many areas, said Ebrahim Darvishi, governor of the worst-hit district, Shonbeh.
The UN’s nuclear watchdog agency said that it had been informed by Iran that there was no damage to the plant and no radioactive release and, based on its analysis of the earthquake, was not seeking additional information. The International Atomic Energy Agency indicated it was satisfied there was little danger.
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. He said damage was particularly bad in the village of Baghan.