A 7.8-magnitude earthquake has reportedly hit Iran. Border regions between Iran and Pakistan were struck by the enormous quake struck at 10.44am (GMT), 50 miles east-south-east of the town of Khash, in Iran. It is the biggest earthquake to strike Iran for 40 years, tremors felt across Pakistan, India and the Middle East.
Communications in the area appear to be down; the death toll is as yet un-verified by official sources. However, some news sources are reporting that at least 40 people have been killed.
Ahmad-Reza Shajiee, the deputy head of Iran's Red Crescent told the state Irna news agency that a complicated emergency situation is facing affected areas in Iran's Sistan and Baluchistan province.
"Soon after we received the news about the quake, a crisis meeting was held and a group of rescuers from the Red Crescent society were dispatched to Sistan and Baluchistan province," he said. Twenty Iranian Red Crescent search-and-rescue teams with three helicopters have been dispatched to the area.
In 2003, a major earthquake near the Iranian city of Bam, not far from today's epicentre, killed 30,000.
Iran suffers frequent earthquakes. A week ago, a 6.1 magnitude quake hit near Bushehr, on Iran's Persian Gulf coast, killing at least 37 people.