Updated at 6:25 a.m. ET
A strong magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck southeastern Iran on Friday, followed quickly by an aftershock measuring 5.1, the U.S. Geological Survey says. At least 42 people were injured and several homes destroyed, officials say.
The epicenter of the quake was located about 36 miles northeast of the city of Kerman in a sparsely populated area of the country. The depth of the quake, at only 6 miles, was likely to intensify the effects.
“The quake destroyed some houses in eight villages but so far there has been no fatalities,” a local official told state TV, according to Reuters.
“Assessment teams are surveying the earthquake-stricken areas and villages in Kerman province,” Morteza Salimi, the head of the Relief and Rescue Organization of Iran’s Red Crescent, told state television, according to the news agency.
Mohammadreza Mirsadeqi, a local official quoted by the state-run IRNA news agency, said 42 people were hurt, but that so far there had been no reports of deaths.
Local media in Kerman said the shaking caused people to come out into the streets, according to Gulf News.
Last month, a powerful quake measuring 7.3 struck near the Iran-Iraq border in the west of the country, killing 530 people and injuring more than 9,000, most of them in Iran.
Earlier on Friday, another earthquake, also a magnitude 6.0, was reported off the northeast coast of Papua New Guinea.