The strong quake also damaged a number of buildings in the area. The tremor was centered around the Kerman province about 16 kilometers (9 miles) southwest of Hosein Abab, 213 kilometers (132 miles) southwest of Zahedan and about 1,075 kilometers (668 miles) south of Tehran.
"So far damages have been reported in villages in the areas of Sahraj. Seven have been confirmed dead and hundreds have been injured after being stuck among debris," Mehr quoted Kerman governor Esmail Najjar as saying.
“Considering the damage the death toll is expected to rise," he added. Additionally, close to seven aftershocks were felt after the initial earthquake struck at 10:12 pm Monday night, according to the Iranian Seismological Center, based at the University of Tehran, and the U.S. Geological Survey.
In 2003 a similar strong earthquake struck the city of Bam, that killed more than 31,000 people and destroyed the city's ancient mud-built citadel.