Middle East

Powerful quake strikes northeast Iran

The location of a 6.1 magnitude earthquake near the city of Mashhad
A powerful earthquake has struck northeast Iran near the holy city of Mashhad. (AAP)

Emergency services are being deployed to the city of Mashhad in northeastern Iran after 6.1 magnitude earthquake killed at least one person.

A powerful earthquake has struck northeast Iran near the holy city of Mashhad, leaving at least one person dead and several injured.

The magnitude 6.1 quake occurred 76 km east-southeast of the city and at a depth of 33 km.

The governor of the province said on the state television that the quake happened at 10.39 a.m. local time and shook a vast area.

State news agency IRNA quoted emergency services spokesman Mojtaba Khaledi as saying there were fears that casualties in villages and small towns could be high.

Red Crescent teams and emergency services had been deployed to the area, he said.

A Red Crescent official was quoted by state media as saying one person had died in a village near the city of Fariman and at that least four were injured.

Pictures posted on social media showed deep cracks in streets and buildings and Tasnim news agency reported that phone lines in some of the affected area were disrupted.

Local people said in media reports and on Twitter they had felt more than a dozen aftershocks, with some afraid to go back to their homes.