The 6.3-magnitude earthquake that struck near Iran’s only nuclear plant near Bushehr on Tuesday killed 37 people, injured another 850, destroyed many homes and devastated two villages, Iranian media reported Tuesday night. Earlier reports had no damage sustained.
One village was completely destroyed, a Red Crescent official told the Iranian Students' News Agency, but the nearby Bushehr nuclear plant was unharmed, Iranian officials and the Russian company that built it said.
"Due to the intensity of this earthquake, this tragedy has deepened and we have seen the destruction of many homes in the region, the deaths of 37 people and more than 850 injured," the governor of Bushehr province, Fereydoun Hassanvand, told Mehr news agency.
Many mud-brick homes in rural areas of the province crumbled in the quake’s wrath. Nearly 700 homes were destroyed, Hassanvand said.
The Iranian earthquake also was felt across the Persian Gulf in Qatar, Bahrain and Dubai.
"We could clearly feel the earthquake," Nikoo of Bushehr, who only wanted to give her first name, told Reuters. "The windows and chandeliers all shook."
According to Reuters, residents faced nearly 16 aftershocks after initial quake.
Rescue teams worked through the night and were able to save 20 survivors from the rubble, a Red Crescent official told ISNA.
But the earthquake's continuing devastation did not stop with 16 aftershocks. Landslides have begun to destroy buildings that withstood the quake. As a result, crowds have gathered in the streets of Dashti, resulting in army and police units being dispatched to maintain order.
Residents affected by the quake have had power and water cut since officials fear aftershocks.