Strong earthquake hits southern Iran, no immediate reports of damage

PARIS (AFP) - A strong earthquake measuring 6.2 hit southern Iran early on Saturday, the US Geological Survey said.

The epicentre of the quake was measured at 85 kilometres southeast of the southern town of Minab at 0208 GMT (8.08 am Singapore time), the USGS said in a statement. It was at a depth of 36.44 km.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage. from the quake.

Iran sits astride several major fault lines and is prone to frequent earthquakes, some of which have been devastating.

Last month, the biggest earthquake to hit the country in 50 years, measuring 7.8, killed a woman and injuring more than a dozen other people in the southeast.

At least 40 people were killed across the border in Pakistan where hundreds of mud homes were levelled.

A double earthquake, one measuring 6.2 and the other 6.0, struck northwestern Iran last August, killing more than 300 people and injuring 3,000.

In December 2003, a massive quake struck the southern city of Bam. It killed 26,271 people - about a quarter of the population - and destroyed the city's ancient mud-built citadel.