A magnitude 6.5 earthquake has struck south-eastern Iran, killing at least six people and injuring 21 others, Iranian state TV reported.
The report said the strong quake hit Hosseinabad, a small town of a few hundred residents in a sparsely populated region of south-eastern Iran.
The area is not far from the historical city of Bam, site of a devastating 2003 earthquake of similar strength that killed more than 26,000 people.
Telephone contacts to the stricken area have been cut off, and rescue teams were dispatched to the area, the TV reported.
The report said the epicentre was at a depth of three miles, about 60 miles from Bam.
A senior government official, Javad Kamali, was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying that the quake also caused serious damage to buildings and the infrastructure of the region.
Kamali said relief teams have been dispatched to the stricken areas.
“There are efforts under way to reopen some hard-to-reach roads blocked by the quake,” he said.
Even moderate quakes have killed thousands of people in the past in the Iranian countryside, where houses are often built of earthen bricks.
Iran is located on seismic fault lines and is prone to earthquakes. It experiences at least one slight earthquake every day on average.