Update (10:11 a.m): Newsweek Pakistan is reporting 21 casualties in Pakistan.
At least 40 people were killed in a 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Iran, with many reports saying the number of casualties could number in the hundreds. The earthquake’s tremors could be felt as far away as Dubai.
Iran’s PressTV is reporting that 40 people were killed in the Iran earthquake. Since the announcement of a death toll, Iranian officials have disputed the claims and have said there have been no reported casualties so far, notes Reuters.
The earthquake hit around 5:44 a.m. ET and the epicenter of the massive earthquake was approximately 53 miles east of Khash, Iran, and 104 miles northeast of Iranshar, Iran, reports the United States Geological Survey. The earthquake’s tremors could be felt in Pakistan and India.
Reuters is reporting that many believe the casualties could number in the hundreds. An earthquake of similar magnitude hit northern Pakistan on Oct. 8, 2005, killing 80,000 while leaving millions homeless.
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An official speaking to Reuters said the earthquake that hit Iran on Tuesday was the biggest earthquake in 40 years. The official spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity and said, “It was the biggest earthquake in Iran in 40 years and we are expecting hundreds of dead.” Rescue teams have been sent to the affected areas in Iran. Reuters is also reporting hundreds of homes have been destroyed by the earthquake.
Newsweek Pakistan is reporting five casualties as a result of the earthquake in the province of Balochistan, which borders Iran. In the town of Mashkeel, in the province, hundreds of homes have collapsed as a result of the earthquake’s tremors. Further west in the province, tremors could be felt but also caused minor damage to homes.
On April 9, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck near Iran’s sole nuclear power plant in Bushehr. The earthquake killed 37 people while injuring 850 and destroying homes and villages. The nuclear power plant was not damaged.