Earthquake near Iran's Bushehr nuclear power station
Continue reading the main story Iran nuclear crisis
A 6.3 magnitude earthquake has struck in south-west Iran, not far from the country's only nuclear power station, the US Geological Survey (USGS) says.
The Bushehr nuclear plant has not been affected and is working normally, officials are quoted as saying.
At least three people are reported to have died in the quake that struck 90km (60 miles) south of Bushehr. Iran's Red Crescent is sending teams to the area.
The quake was felt across the Gulf in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.
Seismologists said the quake struck at 16:22 (11:52 GMT) at a depth of 10km (6.2 miles) near the town of Kaki, south of Bushehr, a Gulf port city that is home to Iran's first and only nuclear power plant.
Iran's seismological centre in Bushehr province, linked to Tehran University, registered the quake at a magnitude of 6.1.
Five aftershocks - the strongest measuring a magnitude of 5.4 - struck within an hour.
'Within the norm' The governor of Bushehr, Fereydoun Hassanvand, told Iranian state TV that the nuclear plant was not damaged.
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It was a very strange sensation, rather like being on a rocking boat”Phil Stevens Office worker in Abu Dhabi
An official with the Russian firm Atomstroyexport told Russian media that the quake "in no way affected the normal situation at the reactor".
"Personnel continue to work in the normal regime and radiation levels are fully within the norm," the official was quoted by Russian state news agency Ria as saying.
Iran's nuclear programme has roused concern among major powers that Tehran wants to build nuclear weapons - a charge Iran strongly denies.
Fault line One resident in Bushehr told Reuters news agency that they could "clearly feel the earthquake" but there was no damage.
State media reported that three people had died so far, and phone lines had been brought down by the quake and its aftershocks.
Iran's Red Crescent organisation said there were around 10,000 people living in villages in the affected area, and rescue teams had been deployed to help them.
Mahmoud Mozaffar, the head of Iran's Red Crescent, told state television that two villages had been "80% damaged" by the quake.
The earthquake shook buildings across the Gulf.
"Our entire building started to wobble from side to side for around 30 seconds or so," Phil Stevens, working on the 10th floor of a building in Abu Dhabi, told the BBC.
"It was a very strange sensation, rather like being on a rocking boat. We evacuated our office and quickly learnt of the earthquake in Iran."
Iran straddles a major geological fault line, making it prone to seismic activity. In 2003, an earthquake in the city of Bam left more than 25,000 people dead.