6.3 magnitude quake hits southern Iran

(CNN) -- At least three people were killed Tuesday afternoon in a powerful earthquake that struck southern Iran, in the vicinity of a key nuclear facility, Iranian state TV announced.

      A 6.3-magnitude earthquake was centered about 91 kilometers southeast of Bushehr, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Iran's Fars news agency said the quake measured at 6.1 magnitude. State-run Press TV reported that the network has spoken to officials at the Bushehr nuclear plant and that there were no problems. Press TV warned that officials were indicating the number of casualties is expected to rise.

     The quake was at a depth of 10 kilometers, according to the USGS. At least two strong aftershocks struck the same area in the past half hour later Tuesday, the USGS said.The CNN bureau in Dubai said that the quake was felt in the United Arab Emirates, across the Persian Gulf from Iran, and that some buildings in Abu Dhabi were evacuated.

      The quake was also felt in Qatar and Bahrain. Some businesses have sent their employees home for the day.



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