Iran Rocked By Powerful Earthquake

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A massive earthquake rocked Iran and nearby nations Tuesday morning. The U.S. Geological Survey said the preliminary magnitude was estimated at 7.8.

According to the USGS, the quake was centered near Iran's border with Pakistan, at a depth of 9.4 miles.

The epicenter of the quake was in a sparsely populated region of Iran, but reports on Iranian television suggested that at least 40 people had been killed. There were reports that some Iranian officials were speculating that hundreds could have been killed, but no official figures were given, and the reports could not be confirmed.

Buildings swayed in New Delhi, India, and CBS Radio News correspondent Toula Vlahou in Dubai, across the Persian Gulf, said the temblor was felt there, as well.

Across the Gulf, high-rise buildings swayed and officials ordered evacuations. Dubai has the world's tallest tower, the 2,717 -foot Burj Khalifa.

A businessman in Gwadar, a coastal Pakistani city near the epicenter, told CBS News' Farhan Bokhari there was no significant damage in the area, but panicked people streamed out of their homes after the quake struck.

Tuesday's quake came less than a week after a 6.1 magnitude quake about 60 miles southeast of Bushehr, the site of Iran's main nuclear reactor, killed 37 people.

Iran is prone to quakes, and the nation's southern coast runs along the boundary of a tectonic plate. The southeastern corner of the country, near the epicenter of Tuesday's temblor, sits near the point where three separate plates meet.