TEHRAN, July 21 (Xinhua) -- At least one was killed and 32 injured in an earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale that hit southern Iran's Fars Province near the Persian Gulf coast at on Tuesday night, local reports said.
More casualties are expected in the regions around the epicenter in the city of Ahl, Disaster Chief of Staff and Head of Hormozgan Crisis Center Ahmad Gheibi told Xinhua.
The earthquake, which occurred at 1938 GMT at a depth of 9 kilometers, is 27 degrees North Latitude and 53.9 degrees East Longitude, according to the Iranian Seismological Center's website.
State IRIB TV quoted Head of Lamerd Red Crescent Heydaripour as saying the earthquake damaged 50 to 70 percent of residential buildings of some villages in southern town of Lamerd.
Officials said emergency aid teams are ready and will be dispatched to the quake-hit area if necessary, local satellite channel Press TV reported on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, the U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake is at a depth of about 34 kilometers and was centered about 234 kilometers west of Bandar-e Abbas.
Within 21 minutes after the magnitude-5.8 quake, another two earthquakes measuring 5.2 and 4.1 struck Fars province in quick succession, the Iranian Seismological Center said on its website.
Iran, including its capital Tehran, sits astride several major fault-lines in the earth's crust, and is prone to frequent earthquakes.
Local media reports said the last deadly quake in Iran occurred in September 2008, when a magnitude-6.1 earthquake killed at least 7 people and injured almost 47 others in the southern Hormozgan province.
The worst quake happened in recent years was a magnitude-6.3 one, which struck the southern city of Bam in December 2003, killing 31,000 people, about a quarter of the city's population, and destroying an ancient mud-built citadel.
Some Iranian officials suggest to move the capital from Tehran to some other places. The idea of shifting the capital away from Tehran is not something new, and related preliminary planning was done in the late 1980s and again in the early 1990s.